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  CSPAN    Public Affairs    News  News/Business.  

    April 22, 2013
    12:00 - 5:01pm EDT  

homeland security. rodriguez,hank mr. mr. connor, ms. eastman, for being here. each one of you have been a very, very helpful in putting this together. in putting this together. and i wentnto than -- wanted to thank senator feinstein and others for working so hard in the agricultural part of this. would like to make a final point, go ahead. >> i want to thank the committee for all the hard work in the senator for all the due diligence in this. one closing thought. i think what we tried to do here in working together over the past few months and years is to really do something that would
honor from workers and the work they do because it has been a discussion about that. secondly, that we have an industry that will maintain the viability. i'd think all of us in america want to see products produced here. >> having had the honor of serving as chair and drank and member of the senate i want aral committ vibrant east to west, north to south agricultural committee. thank you very much for being here. smith.hanging to brad fred benjamin. please come forward. we will set up.
>> i thank all the witnesses for being here. straighting to go through the noon hour because of the numbers we have. will be going to lunch and other meetings taking place, but we will begin with commissioner of vermont department of tourism and marketing. she was appointed in 2011 for that. we know that. she was in the vermont legislator. before she became commissioner, she and her husband owned and
a very nicemont in thn place for over a dozen years. please go ahead. >> chairman leahy, ranking member grassley and members of the committee, i am pleased to be here today on behalf of the department -- vermont department of tourism in marketing to highlight the importance of travel-related provisions, included immigration reform. vermont is very dependent on tourism. the depend it is twice the national average of 30%. the majority of the businesses are small and family-owned. we're starting to see a steady increase of international visitors, and a market we're focusing on much more with the support of branded u.s. said. well we benefit from being a weekend destination for millions of travelers -- while we benefit
from being a weekend destination for millions of travelers, we need to market to international travelers. our nation has not remain competitive in the global travel market place. from 2001-2010 the market share of world traveler fell from 17- 12%. this rulted in more than 78 million international travelers going somewhere else and the and losing 467,000 jobs $606 billion in revenue over those years. understanding the economic importance of growing international visitation, let me highlight important provisions in the immigration bill that will address some of the most pressing barriers facing inbound business and leisure travelers and the u.s. support the provisions in the legislation. we strongly support expansion of the visa waiver program, which is critical to the national
security and economic help. according to commerce stated department, the visitors spent .7 billion iorof easing unnecessary restriction on visitations from canada will enhance the already strong diplomatic ties between the countries. vermont has the distinct and important relationship with canadian neighbors. this is especially strong in the northern regions work thousands of canadians on second homes. they are interested in spending more time in the u.s., so we strongly support increasing time to remain in the u.s. to 240 days. also been a pioneer in the program through the unparalleled efforts making our state the first in the country
successfully utilize this program for resort development and expansion. it is the perfect example of the program benefits for the economy and local community where jobs are scarce and a part of vermont where conventional lending is not an option. we appreciate the inclusion of permanent authorization of this important program. we also very much appreciate inclusion of the reforms to the program, highly important to employers in the seasonal industries. ski resorts in the winter, beach communities and this summer rely on these workers to not -- and not only prove to be excellent employees but bring a cultural experience to states that do not necessarily enjoyed a great deal of diversity. when a trained employee can return for several years in a row, it is a great benefit to all. we thank you for including the sections into the bill.
in order to enhance security while adding -- in order to enhance security while also facilitating legitimate travel and trade, we strongly support the addition of but 3500 custom boer patrol officers included in the legislation. in order to ensure that officers are allocated properly, we urge the committee to work with cpb to specify the number of officers needed at air, land, and sea ports of entry. lastly, i would like to highlight an area of concern. the proposal in section 6 of the immigration bill to gut the funding for brand usa by 75 percent will stifle the organization's global impact and hurt states like vermont that depend on this to reach new markets. the 2010 passage of the bipartisan travel promotion act was supported overwhelming majority of the u.s. senate, including senators on this
committee. and i represent the small, rural states on the brand usa marketing committee. this organization has allowed those of us that are not get way states to finally have a voice in international travel market. since grand usa and vermont have partner together, it is allowed vermont to enter the market of t britain using vermont and new york as gateways. we of artists and an increase in visitation to vermont through jfk, and i have been able to hire a pr firm to promote tourism. cutting brand usa funding by taking 75 percent of the fees for more rigid border security will have a negative impact. the excess funds are not being used by brand usa. the immigration bill should focus on using those funds for border security initiatives. if the u.s.n,
recaptures the historic share of worldwide overseas travel by 2015 and maintains through 2020, it will add nearly $100 billion to the economy over the next decade and create nearly 70000 the positil provisions in this bill will help us achieve the goal. i very much appreciate the opportunity to testify today. >> thank you very much. our next witness is from the arizona fifth district i believe. in serve for 22 years. president obama recently appointed him to of the advisory committee for trade policy and negotiations. provides policy advice on trade matters, and he and i work together a number of significant matters during his years in the house. we're glad to have you back here.
please go ahead. >> thank you. members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify before you today. and on behalf of the border security and in it -- modernization act of 2013 i had the privilege of serving in the united states congress from 1985 to 2007, representing -- representing t fifth and eighth congressional district. immigration has always been a issue in this border district. i applaud the senators in the so-called gang of eight who spent many months preparing this legislation. the bill currently before the committee is an excellent start that offers many possible provisions. others on this panel will discuss various economic considerations, but i want to talk about one particular provision, completing family unification. i know, as the partner of an immigrant how difficult it can be to build a life and protect
the system under the current system. while this is an excellent starting point, i submit to you it is still incomplete. families like mine are left behind as part of the proposal. equally as important, u.s. businesses suffer because of bisexual, was banned, and gay families from the bill introduced last week. panamanern in and came to the united states on a scholarship to pursue graduate in special education. he has been a dedicated teacher for almost two decades. he was recourse to return -- was forced to turn to panama when his visa expired. the separation was painful. and he returned while he applied for another vidsa. -- visa. it was a long process and expense of, far beyond the reach ofosfamilies. a month from now we will legally marry in the district of columbia surrounded by family
and friends. we are immensely fortunate he has secured a visa that will allow him to remain here with me. many others are not so fortunate. this has allowed them to build a home, family core, or business together is to lose the and difficult to realize. this committee has an opportunity to fix that problem. ollied american families atlegie nd would make a profound difference in the lives of many americans and their families. this would ensure american citizens are not torn apart from their loved ones or forced into exile abroad. the comprehensive immigration reform law under consideration includes important provisions to make businesses more competitive. this does the same, which is why it is supported by fortune 500 companies like intel, marriott, texas instruments, u.s. airways.
the failure to recognize gay and lesbian families is a direct impact on american business. in a letter last month to the eight senators who authored the border security economic opportunity and immigration modernization act, a coalition of 28 of the most prominent companies wrote, we of each work to help american employees whose families were split apart because ey cannot sponsor the permanent partners for immigration benefits. we lost productivityhen those families are sepated. with borne the cost of transferring and retraining employees talented employees so they may live a lot of -- they live abroad with loved ones. it is not just major corporations that lose out. in columbia, south carolina, restaurant owner with 25 employees recently made the decision to close the business in order to move so he could be with his partner. in l.a., a young entrepreneur
closed his doors after his canadian partner's visa expired. the should give us all pause and cause us to reflect on the plate to american families and businesses when we choose to least -- leave some of the fellow citizens out of the reform of immigration laws. it is time tort f t of imgrion law. opportunity is too rare. the positives -- the positive impact too great to leave anyone behind. adding this to the committee bill would be a big step to making it a truly comprehensive bill. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. i appreciate that. the president and ceo of immigration works usa. the national federation of small business owners. we will enhance emigration law. thank you for being here. >> thank you.
and thank you for this opportunity to testify. i am president of immigration works. i am here today on behalf of the members to express support to the legislation. the less-skilled temporary worker is a thoughtful, innovative blueprint. this works to prevent future illegal immigration. i will use my time to address my issue -- address three issues. the u.s. workforce is changing. american families are having fewer children with birth rates now well below replacement level. and 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day.
in 1960. 64 were high-school ts.dropou today er-umber is less than 10%. together they have had a dramatic affect on the pool of americans to fill low-skill jobs. no accident my members are constantly complaining about the difficulty finding workers. the pool they have to draw on its shrinking alarmingly. if anything, demand for less skilled workers is growing. 1955, 25 cents of every food dollar spent on food was spent in a restaurant. one of the fastest-growing occupations is home health -- home health aide.
this will create jobs for u.s.- born chef, waiters, managers, and farmers, janitors, architects, you name it, and the economy. this is the design of the program. the gang of eight senators face daunting challenge in crafting a left -- skilled program visa. both are intensely disliked by employers and labor advocates alike. it's agram could -- creative, well-crafted blueprint. be tied told not specific employers but could change jobs at will. a win-win for workers this provides flexibility and a possible le
of hi 2 is the size ofm is designed to adjust automatically in response to changing u.s. labor needs. employers to participate are required to hire americans first and paid more than american workers. in contrast. spot is for a visa relatively simple, straightforward, and predictable. bottom line, employers have much to admirer in the program. this program might be -- may not succeed with existing illegal labor force. the nation can have no hope of ending illegal immigration without this. enforcement can help control the flow, but ultimately the best antidote is illegal immigration
system that works. meeting unmet u.s. labor needs with an adequate supply of legal foreign workers. we learned this lesson the hard way since 1986. if we repeat -- if we repeat that mistake again this year, 10-20 years we will find ourselves in the same predicament wondering what to do with new unauthorized immigrants. most scholars try to predict labor needs, based estimates on the past, and mo suggested an average years to come u.s. liberty could attract as many as 250,000 even 400,000 less- skilled workers. will the program be able to accommodate the workers? certainly not in the first four years when the quota will be 20,000-70,000 and even the upper limit may be too low, even with potential exceptions. ideastten statement has about to expand the program.
i would like to underscore how much we appreciate the work of the senators who crafted the legislation. we look forward to working with this committee and others to improve the program and past the border security economic opportunity and economic modernization act. >> thank you, mr. colby. -- ms. jacoby. serving asjenson, the chairman of the board of the national association of home builders. welcome. >> thank you very much. and on behalf of the more than 400,000 in the national association of home builders, the opportunity to testify today. froma builder/developer charlotte, north carolina and chairman of the board. the senate bill takes steps towards comprehensive
immigration reform. includes a fair and workable employment system that honors the direct employee relationship and the current no link liabilities of the standard. american and immigrant workers working alongside each other is not new development in the industry. this is cyclical and coincides wi tvera housing activity. the share was rising rapidly during the housing boom years, even with labor shortages were widespread then. however, even during the severe housing downturn, the construction labor force continue to recruit new immigrants to replace native and foreign-born workers leading the industry. according to the 2011 american community services survey for in-born workers account for 22 percent of the construction labor force naturally.
states of the larger share of foreign labor are more likely to experience difficulties in filling out construction job vacancies as the home building economy continues to improve. housingovement in markets represents new labor challenges for us all. of the builders surveyedst experienced delays in rojes on time. 15 percent of the respondents had to turn down some project, and 9% for loss or cancelled due to the result of labor shortages directly. industry faces a very real impediment. if work is delayed or even cancelled due to shortage -- shortage of workers. this reflects a very good faith attempt on the part of negotiators to an address -- to address a serious matter that has been ignored for decades.
major shortage for the construction industry. a distinct set of rules, including an arbitrary and meager cap not only ignores but rejects the value of the housing industry to the nation's gdp. our industry should be afforded the same opportunities as any other segment of the economy. and the 8.5% unemployment trigger is perhaps the most important trigger of the program. this ignores the simple fact that immigrant workers and native-born workers sometimes more formal talks caught depend upon one another and the process. the conclusion of the commissioner in the program is another step. and the most accurate way to measure whether immigrant workers are needed is for the employers to try and either succeed or fail to hire u.s. workers. moreover, the concept of
prevailing wage is very unfamiliar, and most would deter from the complex requirements under such a program. another component of the program that should be addressed is the 90 day requirement. this flexible roleuld simply be eminate construction is project is based and employers must be given the flexibility of the project is canceled, completed, delayed or bite any other means of the employer something outside of his control. another concern is the conclusion of complete portability. the registered employer faces the stark reality that a visa holder from the first day of work as the option -- has the option to immediately quit and go elsewhere. it makes me believe employers should have some assurances that navigating the confusing and expensive process, the visa holder will have to show up for
work. employers should be given a credit or lost resource credit for that. all of these issues are complex and we welcome a strong, legislative debate tackling comprehensive immigration reform is an enoous task. congress shouldotgnore the importan ofhe innd during this critical juncture of the housing industry. thank you very much. >> thank you. brad smith served as the general counsel on executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs at microsoft since 2002. he is responsible for microsoft's legal work of intellectual property portfolio, a patent licensing bill -- business, and philanthropic work. please go ahead. the opportunity to be here today, and to support comprehensive immigration
reform, including changes in the high-skilled immigration area. at microsoft and across the technology sector, we are increasingly grappling with a significant challenge. we are not able to fill all the jobs we are creating. the numbers help to share the story. at a te when unemployment hovers just below 8% unemployment rate in computer and mathematical operation has fallen to 3.2%, and in many states in many subcategories it has fallen below 2%. unfortunately the situation is likely to get worse, better -- rather than better. it is estimated that this year the economy will create over 120,000 jobs. in this will require a bachelor degree in computer science.
all of the countries together will produce only 51,474 of these degrees. that is why high-skilled immigration and this legislation is of such great importance. the bill you are considering does three very important things. first, it addresses trd shortag. it eliminates or goes very far to reduce the backlog. it eliminates the per country cap and a crew to create a green card category for advanced cream degrees. all things that are needed. second, the bill quite rightly, i believe, as improvements in availabler of h1b's and changes to make sure american workers are protected. it raises the wage floor for employees.
it improves portability so employees can such critics which employers. it addresses a number of other issues. even though we have lingering questions about potential language and an intention -- unintended consequences, we recognize compromise is needed all around and hope to work with th committee and staff as you go through the details. there is the third thing this bill does. it is of extraordinary importance, and that is this. it creates and nationalist them education fund. a suchhe reason we have a shortage of high-skilled labor. it systematically invested in a country in the own education of our country. certifiedthe number
it is only 2250. the worky grateful for that you and the senator led creates the model for a national some education fund. this bill foh of that model. i hope you might improve it even further. raisthe fe on visas. raise the fee on green cards and invest that money in the american people so we can provide our own children with the educational opportunities they will need to develop the skills to compete in an increasingly competitive world. as a company microsoft spends more on research and development than any other company in the world. $9.8 billion this year. and yet we spend 85% of that
money in one country, this country, the united states. has come to washington because we want to keep jobs in america. we want to fill jobs in america. we want to help create more jobs in america. we know in the short run we will need to bring more people from other countries to america. we hope inhe ln wl follow in te footsteps of the alexander graham bell and albert einstein, a great scientist and technologists and on for panda wars. entreprenuer's. we need your help. thank you. an associate
producer -- sorry. associate professor of public policy. am the chair now. he is an associate professor of public py rochester institute of technology where he teaches courses on technological innovation and public policy. professor. >> thank you. i want to thank the ranking chairman and members of the committee for and fighting me to testify here today. i have been studying this for more than a decade, so i am honored to share what i have learned with you. some forms of this were
included. i also want to thank durbin and the long work and trying to provide clarity and how the guest worker programs are being used in practice. through high-skilled immigration we have potential of attracting the best and brightest are around the world and more importtly, kping them here. much is misguided. it has been focused mostly on expanding guest worker programs, rather than permanent emigration. i will focus the remarks today on the deeply flawed programs. right now the majority of the programs are being used to hire cheap, and injured workers. the bulk of the demand is driven by the desire for low-cost workers, not a race for specialized talents. the results show this. all of the top 10 employers last year used the program principally to outsource
american jobs to overseas locations. outsourcing firms have received the majority of the visas issued last year. globalization and outsourcing will happen, but we should not be subsidizing and promoting through flawed guest worker policies. many claim the guest worker program is primarily used as a employers have no intention of other applying for green cards for the workers. there was a remarkable 4000 h1b's last year alone, but only applied for 8 green cards. that means 500 for every green card they applied. it may be a bridge to immigration, but not very good one. and is the most visible obvious reason. this is due to fundamental problems.
cheaper1b workers are than american workers. second, they do not have a at jobs.e request of ishot there's no shortage necessary before hiring this worker. how does this happen? first off, congress sets the wageand it is far too low. they can be paid 25% less than american worker. and there's no requirement for employers to look for american workers before hiring h1b. they can even displace american workers. this is in the law itself. the law we are discussing today include safeguards that move in a positive direction, but the bill falls far short. this will continue to bring in cheaper foreign workers and bypass american workers. but me illustrate. under the proposed language in the law right now, wages will be set a little bit higher tha
reurlyunder this bill, you coule an electronic engineer in college station, texas for as low as 39,000 per year. this is a job where the starting salary for an entry level engineer would be 61,000. it is no surprise why they want keep these which floors as low as possible. national requires a website for posting of jobs, as well as language that talks about employers having to hire american workers that are equally qualified. we need more specificity for how that would be implemented and how that would work in practice. will american workers be able to ask or complain if they're not hired? how will that not be enforced? the good news is some modifications could solve these
problems. theprovisions contained in lobbies are reform act of 2014 introduced by the senators >> thebe included in ceo and co-founder of systems and motion.
>> thank you. >> it's on. havingow the policy is sick of the unintended consequences. i came to the united states as a graduate student, following a tech company applied for the green card. i went down to found and i t- services company that was later acquired by an indian offshore company. that company was no. 7 on the leader board. a $700 millionad topline with 80 percent of revenues coming from the u.s.. most recently had a domestic policy services company to see if they can replicate the model that offshore companies have built in places like manila in such as ann arbor,
michigan. a backdrop to my comments, i wish to emphasize as supports the proper use of these pieces -- visas to attract the bt local talent to the united states. thealents are largely services industry. in early 2009 and inspired by hope and change, a group of us left the offshore industry to study and see if we could be a part of a solution that will create american jobs. and after having of short many jobs we're looking to see how enterprises could leverage and ultimate model here in the u.s.. industry had a lower cost of resources and easy mobility of the resources through the use
of the program. global services companies have built a model of efficiency with centralize factories and asking ourselves the question, can we build similarly competitive technology services factories here in the u.s.? we looked at pma drivers for industry. the first one was economics. usedu see the number one a t -- use of the visasa, large majority are used by the offshore industry. and this is for cost reduction is there a direct correlation? how could one missed the linkage once primarily used for flooring cost. it could be a large, offshore company with headquarters in india -- india or the u.s. everyone of them was using it
for one greed -- one reason alone, reducing cost. market was a large source for this. keeping ilization ratesnd hyperion the first question and indian business would ask was, what we need to hire an american worker for every kid gets a cheaper worker from india at a lower wage and as-needed basis? they mostly higher because of the current policy provided them a subsidy. it was clear the policy should change. the question we should be asking is widely need to hire an employee if we can train and develop a local worker? also looked at the question of supply of u.s. workers.
here is one of the critical reasons we found. there is a lot of raw material available. what i mean is, a lot of resources thi .s.s ma ere are a lot of resources we can use for i t services work here in the u.s. -- i.t. services work in the u.s. the majority of the work is really not specialist work. most of them have between three- this years of experience this is whatrk google and microsoft might need and not traditionally specialized work. a couple of recommendations.
potentially some sort of social d loo use ing. for medical i would request the committee to look at limiting the use of visas for the direct use of enterprise rather than outsourcing or subcontracting. this would allow us to have more pieces available for google and microsoft, not have the caps were the majority of the recent are used by the offshore industry, allow us to train domestically and reduce this. if you challenge them by saying let's have them off for 125 top american wage to these employees, you will notice a lot
of the request will go down. this is for innovative start-ups in product research and development organizations. i submit to the committee that this will really focus on addressing the troops out of highly-specialized skills and a stop to the use of the visas by the offshore industry. thank you. >> thank you. fred benjamin serves as the chief operating officer of medical lodges inc, a company that operates 30 nursing homes in kansas city, missouri, and kansas and oklahoma. >> good afternoon. foruld like to thank you holding the hearing opportunity to appear before you today. my name is fred benjamin and chief operating officer of medical lodges, a company that offers a continuum of health
services that include skilled nursing, home care, rehabilitation, is still living and help with region ford disabled persons. i think the senators for bringing the immigration reform debate to the forefront. -- i thank. king of eight work. medical lodges is employed coined -- employe-owned operating system owning 30 locations. i am honored to serve and health industry for over 30 years, including roles in skilled care in hospitals. i serve as chairman of the board of kansas health care association. have critical staffing needs. chronic shortages throughout the nursing community. it is a daily struggle to find enough dedicated care givers,
yet we are responsible for the lives of 1.5 million frail and elderly citizens nationwide. this is the fastest-growing sector of the population. the general causes have been explored, but we are confronted with chronic underfunding through medicare and medicaid, which provides higher wages from being paid to the workers, nearly altered regular -- regulatory system, dramatically increased competition for care givers, annualize caregiver rates of nearly 100% and aging work force. we are almost completely dependent upon the government for payment for services, and therefore did not have the ability to raise prices. nearly 80 percent of the residents in the facility are beneficiaries of the medicaid or medicare programs. while we do not have the ability to raise prices, we also have little ability to raise expenditures. the government inspects every nursing home every year to look for errors in compliance with several hundred regulations,
fines of up to $10,000 per day or closure for noncompliance. dedicated care givers in our facilities are the unsung heroes of the american workforce. because of the difficulty of the job and inability to increase wages or prices, long-term care has always been a high turnover industry. my company's turnover rate and alwer-skilled categorie i 60% is significantly lower than most companies in the field. we do focus on retention initiatives and employee recognition and involvement, but we've been certified nurse's aides, licensed practical purses and registered nurses to provide care around the clock 365. we provide services in rural and city locations. they can -- vacancy rates can approach 10%. to addresse we done the shortages? well, historically retired extensively from the welfare
rolls. the nursing industry in general has hired over 50,000 welfare recipients in the past three years. most of them are single mothers that we train to become certified nurse's aide and put on a career path and health care. this is the only career path i know of that can take people from economically-disadvantaged system rations to the middle class. we'll set up tables in grocery stores, a direct mail, posted job openings in newspapers, schools, and laundromat. --of opera signing bonuses we have offered signing bonuses and is still not enough. alwaysamerica must remain an absolute control of all of its borders. second, new immigration laws should serve the needs of the american economy, as always, american workers should be given the first preference. if an american employee is offering the job that american citizens are not willing or available to take, we should
welcome them to our country as a person who will. third, undocumented workers to pay taxes and contribute to the labor needs should be given a vehicle to earn a labor status. we currently have a broken immigration system and that is why the american health care physician has crafted basic principles of what comprehensive immigratiorerm ould ide ilevs still reviewing senate bill 744, i believe it captures most of the needs of immigration reform. in conclusion, the labor shortages are most pressing. act now tors must expand through pools of stock. i urge you to take a look at this and think about the frail and elderly population that we serve. parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and doors. those special people that if given some much to us and to our country.
we owe it to them to provide the best possible care, don't we? i am here to ask you who will care for them if this critical situation is not taking care of immediately. thank you. i am happy to answer any questions. >> thank you, mr. benjamin and think you to all the witnesses. mr. smith, despite the fact haoverall undocumented immigratn has gone down, the number of hasdren arriving alone doubled. 18000 children younger than arrived at the border without apparent. right now the department of health and human services is charged with getting attorneys for the children. not havef of them do counsel. i recently heard a story of an immigration judge who told an eight-year-old boy representing himself that the child had the right to cross-examine the
government's witness. this is an eight-year-old boy. and alone in court and presumably he did not speak english. for months i have been calling to changes of the immigration laws that will protect these children, several of whom are now living with friends and relatives minnesota. to see therille bill weebatin contains the provisions. can you tell us a little bit about microsoft's work on this issue and the need for these protections. to g>> thank you. a microsoft with been supportive of a pro bono legal effort. the mission is to provide legal counsel to children who are going through when immigration removal process but have been separated from parents.
there has been an increase in the number in recent years. we are making a heroic effort across the country through the help of over 160 volunteer law law schoolmpanied firms. as you point out, we have had clients as young as 2 years old, old a child who is 2-years- who does not have a lawyer and parent is basically defenseless when it comes to incredibly important legal proceeding. the bill before you does some very important things to help address this. it mandates the attorney general. this moves from hhs to the department of justice, the ability to work on this, which
makes perfect sense given the responsibility. as we look to the future, we are going to need to continue to recruit more volunteer lawyers, and we are committed to doing that. i think the passage of this bill will definitely help. >> thank you. mr. colby, this is not so much a question of the statement you i've heard many statements about how the immigration system is tearing the families apart. i recently heard from a constituent that i will call mark. mark works for a fortune 500 company in our state. he is a citizen. his partner is italian and plan to move to minnesota to be with mark under the program -- waiver program for europeans but when they are identified as a same-6 couple he was-6
interrogated, forced to surrenderis psonal e-mail password and tolde would not be aed toai in the country. back in theis now u.s. on a different visa, but only a temporary visa. law, mark must choose between his career and the person he loves, which is not fair. we're wanted to tell you going to do everything we can to see that we amend this bill to protect all families, including those of the lgbt americans. theant to thank you for work on this. >> thank you. think you put your finger right on the source of the problem, it is not possible for me to sponsor my spouse and the way
another man and woman would be able to. it is an unfairness, and hope it will be corrected. >> thank you. but i have a short time, think vermont in minnesota have a lot in common. lot for ourted a economy, about $12 billion. for will make it easier americans to sit. i just want to say that. to thank you for your testimony on that. i will turn to the ranking member. >> thank you to all the witnesses. i support this with changes.
with mr. smith with thi quest it wng forion r what used to be the grassley bill in now is grassley-brown bill regarding requirements for employers to prove that they tried to recruit and hire an american worker before applying for a foreign worker. it is my understanding good faith recruitment provision is not in this bill by the group of eighth. why does the business community oppose this simple and straightforward measure that would provide qualified people with the chance of high-skilled, high-paying jobs? i am not sure. i would think you would have to ask the industry why they oppose it so much. i think it is a very common sense thing and goes to the spirit of what the bill is supposed to do. the good faith recruitment requirement is already in law. it appes to a very narrow set
of the employer's right now. why only a small number of firms should be doing good faith recruitment. all of these firms should be doing good faith recruitment as american workers before hiring an h1b. it seems to me american workers should have the first and legitimate shot at those jobs. it does not go far enough. i think the good faith recruitment would work very well. >> mr. smith, please. >> i think most of the companies i know do the kind of recruitment would help them to do every day. we have to hire both americans and people from overseas to fill the jobs that we have. the bill has a new requirement that all jobs get posted on a website managed by the department of labour. i am not aware of people objecting to that. when i hear people raise
concerns, it is more about other aspects relating twhat the department of labour might look at years later with respect to the review of an individualized specific hiring decision. person l.a. over person be. i think that is where you hear more people express reservation. >> de support the provision on the internet? >> we post things all over the internet. we are happy to post a allover. >> center, there is a provision requiring americans equally qualified to be hired. that is in an important provision to stay in and i would be interested in what industry says. provision normal people have. how was it made and by who? the department of labores
.eor fr years after if they can hire the number one student from the no. 1 computer science school in the country would be competition with someone at the bottom of the class and has two years of work experience. do you want the apple or the orange? you do not know whether the department of labor tells you if you are to prefer apples or oranges. >> you suppose we should work on that aspect of it. could you explain what provision in the article it references in out?opinion on the car >> if a firm sponsors a h1b worker for a green card, they put in the paperwork that will
reduce deeper h1b dependent -- their h1b numbers. they will n have to do good faith recruiting more pay the higher wage levels. i think it is a mistake and it will affect not just facebook, and we should not make policy around one firm, but other firms to exploit the program. said to have been on an h1b these uin year experience is relevant. why you say that these holders at these service companies are not really specialize? thate majority of the work the indian offshore industry does it is back office i.t. work for large enterprises here in the u.s. it does not require the necessary skill to do the traditional product development work that microsoft may require their engineers to do. the nature of the worked is really less of research and
development but mostly applying concepts in large enterprise. this work traditionally tends to be easier than what may require a master's in computer science. one important note is the industry, if you look at the number of people they hire, and the number of these as applied many americans. to he to look at this industry and save their hiring at most of noth1b leases and they are hiring american workers. why is that? the characterization of the h1b for microsoft and google is very different than how is being utilized by the indian off shoring industry and that segmentation is very important. my theory is we look at the larger issue raised by microsoft and thinking about the supply issues. making it a standard thing across the industry as a process and we understand the majority
of the pieces are used for the wrong purposes. what is left to say that 100,000 of those visas could be used by the indian offshore industry? >> thank you. >> according to the early bird rule, senator klobuchar is next. hank you to the witnesses. i appreciate your focus on the economic advantages of this bill. i wonder if you take the opportunity to respond to some of the issues raised by prof. hira and mr. gupta. >> thank you, senator klobuchar. let me offer a few thoughts. while the so-called facebook rules will not benefit microsoft, i think it's an important role for the industry because it encourages what goodssor hira says is a
thing. apply to get green cards and do not counted against the h1b numbers. we apply for a green card for everyone who comes here on a visa and we initiate the process in the first 30 days of employment. i do not know what facebook does, but i bet it's about the same because that is how competitive the industry is. i do think it's appropriate to recognize that not every company is in the same state, but i think by and large it's important to find roles that work well across the board. that is why, for example, i advocate that we should raise the visa fees that are paid by employers, not individuals. theo get your second point, fees, in the original proposal senator hatch and i did, we increased the fees by $1,000 and that generated $3-$5 billion over 10 years for stem education in this country, very important.
i think the current gang of eight increases the amount on the h1b. is that right? >> i prefer what was in the other. look. i think you could double the from aan h1b raising it $2,350 to $4,700 and it lasts for three years. that would represent between 0.5%-2% of what it would cost to employ one of these individuals and it would bring in money every year. if it is invested in a stem fund, you could really help improve education across the country. >> all right, thank you. i appreciate it. may co-sponsor of the american families act. what would be the support -- would be the effect of the supreme court overturned doma? sure if we know
exactly, but this, of course, does not deal with the issue of marriage at all. this has to do with the employment provisions. what this would simply say it is while doma defines marriage as between a man and woman for federal purposes, this legislation simply says for immigration purposes that an individual can be emigrating to the united states. want to go through the very lengthy process of proving that ,ou are in that relationship the evidentiary requirements are actually stricter than they are today for spouses coming in with an h1b permitee. it really applies only to the immigration side, not the other parts. >> i think it something to work looking at, the interrelationships, if that happens while we are debating this bill. thank you.
tourism issue, near and dear to my heart, and i , andp the travel caucus we're looking at the travel promotion act implemented. i just got a nice numbers and we have seen, with these efforts, an increase of 6% of foreign tois bet 2012012 which means many hundreds of thousands of jobs. we are very excited about this because i have people come to see the mall of america or the beautiful state of vermont. the act andlk about how this could be helpful in terms of the actual goals? one of them is interviewing a% of all visa applicants within three weeks of a receipt of an application, exploring visa expansion in china and brazil. can you talk about how this actually works in reality?
>> i think the main point is this, the markets we are looking at now, china and brazil, we have a huge interest in them coming to our country. we go to trade shows and we have learned that, so anything we can do to expedite their ability to get these visas will help our country great the. >> ok, very good. you raised quickly at thend the idea that some of the travel promotion money was being siphoned off, basically. what would be the effect of that given these numbers we are seeing since we started implementing the travel promotion act? >> i have been so impressed with what has been able to do since they got going. startup, andf a now what is going full speed ahead. we are just entering markets i never dreamed. we never dreamed we would have the support to go in and recruits visitors.
i just think the travel promotion act is a wonulin brant ndurtry. >> thank you. i'm going to go back and have you finish your point, but if you could put them in writing, thank you very much. you, senator klobuchar. such recessions is next. then senator durbin, cornyn, and white house. >> these are very complex issues, each one that we have discussed requiring a lot of thought. i just thought on the previous agriculture panel that i think a tight, well managed, temporary, seasonal worker program can be beneficial to america and it should be considered. we can achieve that. do youhe question, what do in the off-season? will people be able to bring their families? what will happen if people come for three years, re-up for three
years, they are here for six years, they are married, have a child, and then we asked them to leave? is an unworkable system. we are not going to haunt those people down and try to deport them. , andill assumes, also provides for, with regard to your workers, people who are here illegally today working would be legalized and they would be able to stay, then, in addition to that, throughout exceptole area, people agriculture workers would be able to transition to any other job, truck drivers, heavy equipment operators, county employees, that sort of thing. it will have a ripple effect in competing against american workers for even the higher wage jobs. we now, unless you business
people who believe the law of supply and demand has been repealed, it will pull down those wages. it is what experts tell us and i believe it's absolutely true. for people working in low-wage jobs were talking about, they will begin, over time, when they become a legal permanent resident or a citizen in the 10- 15 years, they would be at a level where they would draw the icreditall the means tested social programs. brought in, be businesses would pay them at this level, and the taxpayers would subsidize them additionally. i'm not sure that's a bargain for the american worker. we need to think that through. those are some of the matters that i'm concerned about and we will get to the bottom of it. we will find the numbers. i've got to tell you, we will not strengthen social security and medicare. the numbers are clear. the reports are in and they will
be confirmed. this will weaken social security and medicare perhaps by trillions of dollars. that's what's going happen. i appreciate your insight into how the practical program is working for high skilled workers. statisticselieve in and data shows person to come college almos do very well. the almost pay any more taxes than they will take out over a lifetime. we oughthat's a matter to consider as we think about the total flow of who is admitted to america. professor, the bill would increase the amount of h1b b says up to 180,000, three times the current cap. some say there is a dire need for these workers, especially in
some fields. you testified that an employment data does not support that assertion and raising the cap would significantly harm american workers. i hear college graduates having a hard time coming even engineering students, not able to be employed frequently in america. what is the status there? how would you your testimony? >> i'm happy to. mr. smith gave some data. he said 3.2% unemployment rate. his data is right, the problem is interpretation is wrong. fulham climate would be at about 1.5% unemployment rate, so we are twice where we should be for full employment so he is misinterpreting the data. i do not think raising the cap to 180,000 is warranted in any way, shape, or form because businesses do not have to show any kind of need for these floors ared the wage still too low.
he will see an expansion of cheaper labor. i also know to the bill expands the day's catch. all you need is a bachelor's degree. -- the bill expands the base catch. it is kind of baffling to me that the high-tech industry, which usuallye child of someone who graduated from mit who cannot stay in the u.s., in reality they fought for cheaper cap, importing workers at lower levels, not the u.s. and matched -- advanced degree graduates. >> i said the unemployment rate for the entire computer and mathematical operations was 3.2% that in many states and categories it is below 2%. in washington state is 1.0%. >> everyone that is listening, wages have not gone up for the working american over the last
15-20 years. my democratic colleagues have hammered that for a long time, not so much lately. high employment, particularly among low-skilled workers, and we have highly capable people arguing for more low-skilled workers from the previous panel and i do not think it can be justified in a time of high unemployment. with the move people from a dependency on the government into the work force and we have to be more aggressive about it. welfare office, an employment office, and needs to be a job- creating office. americans cannot continue to bring in a labor to do working on subsidize people not working by the millions. hopefully, we can work through this. i know a lot of suggestions are good in these areas, and i'm willing to work with them, but the reality is that there are some difficult challenges out there.
>> senator durbin. but thank you, mr. chairman. that we welcome all the panelists, especially my former colleague, congressman kolbe. i hope we can include this in the bill. i think it should be part of it. i t in on this gang of eight. i hate this "gang" thing. i have been involved in some gangs, you think i would have a few tattoo is by now. we spend as much as non-core on h1b's down anything else. i would be surprised if someone told me that in advance. we came to it, basically, as i listen to mr. smith and professor hira, who has been a consultant, thank you for your kind words, but we came to a with the premise that if we could bring in the talent, even the talent we are advocating in america and keep cut them here to grow our businesses and our job is in the best interest of
the country. i would say to my friend and colleague senator grassley, yes it was grassley-durbin, durban- grassley for a long time. i did not add my name to it this time and i felt i really needed to be open-minded trkwas a comi. do not sue me for any alienation of affection. here's what it gets down to, mr. smith. when microsoft and other companies come and tell me we're going to put our research facility in british columbia if you do not give us an opportunity in the united states of america to bring in the talent we need to build the product we need to prosper, i get it. theve also been commencement speaker at the illinois institute of technology and watch graduates coming across the stage for multiple advanced degrees thinking we are handing them a diploma and a map and how to get on the kennedy expressway out to o'hare at the same time, which i think is a mistake.
to,'s what it comes down mr. smith. there are some specific abuses of h1b. mr. gupta has pointed them out. ,hese outsourcing firms americans would be shked to knt the h1b are not going to microsoft. they're going to these firms, largely in india, finding workers, engineers, who work at low wages in the united states for three years and pay a fee to these companies. i think that is an abuse of what we are trying to achieve here. most people would think microsoft needs these people than they would be shocked to know that most of the h1b pieces do not go to companies like yours but these outsourcing companies. i sat at the table and i said i am for increasing h1b's only if we offered the job to an american first at a reasonable wage so that they have a job to
fill that position. if they cannot, then we bring in the talent. mr. smith, what's wrong with that? what's wrong with having a provision saying i do not want you to fire an american worker to hire a h1b worker? >> senator durbin, thank you for all t consideration you have ven to our inrypo o view over the last few months. i appreciate that an enormous amount of work has been done to strike a compromise. i personally believe it's important that we both recognize the need for these firms to evolve their business model. i have had these conversations with them myself in india to encourage them to focus on hiring more people in the united states. >> 50% of their employees are , it suggestsders to you that they know the economic model on how to make money. >> as you know, the bill will put an end to that. it safe to say if they do not
change within three years, they will not be eligible for any h1b's of all. >> do you support that? >> i told them that three years ago that they should recognize there is no large country in the world align them to employ over half their people from outside the local population. i do support it. it's important that one ought not eliminate their ability to do good works, because they also do good work. i do not want to lose sight of that. >> would you buy my premise that if there is a job opening at microsoft, the first responsibility is to hire an american? >> i will by that promise but i would qualify it in one respect. premise. buy theat if the number want student happens to come from china and that person has a ph.d., filed six patent applications, and is clearly a pioneer in her field,
i want to hire her. is subjective. all things being equal -- eclectic you can equalize out everything, the job should go to anmerican first, absolutely. >> attesting to the fact that you have done this? >> as long as we do not get lost in the details of unintended consequences, yes. these things can work. >> amount of time. i wanted to ask professor hira and mr. gupta questions, too, but i want to thank you. this notion of more homegrown american talent is something we should all apply. it means charging more money to bring in a foreign h1b worker to create a scholarship opportunities for american students to become tomorrow's engineers, i think that is what america wants. i'm glad senator klobuchar has a lead that effort. >> senator cornyn.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. smith, you and i both come fromorr states. i want to ask you a little bit ofut the importance security, but also maintaining trade, tourism, and commerce between our trading partners, in your case, primarily canada, and in my instance, primarily mexico. do you find them to be mutually exclusive between our desire to have a secure border and our desire to make sure legitimate trade, commerce, and tourism flows across those borders smoothly? >> i don't. >> i believe the figure i have read is about 6 million american jobs depend on cross-border trade and commerce with mexico.
do you happen to know what the economic impact of cross-border trade what canada is? >> i'm sorry, i don' >> i did not mean to pop that on you. >> really, all the way down, and understand the importance. >> have you found that the staffing at the borders and the infrastructure both the need to be improved? >> very much so. >> that will not only provide a more secure border but it will also enhance that cross-border commerce and trade in a way to help grow jobs and the economy here in the united states. would you agree? >> we have a situation right now and an airline in toronto they can only come in the winter. they're put on lake champlain. it is four flights a week and bringing 60-70 people per flight
o our smith -- excuse me, we heard the first panel and i know you were in the audience and a top lot about agriculture and its importance to our economy and what percentage of the work force in agriculture is on documented and you alluded to the dependency of the construction industry in the be ad statesork want it to legal work force, but you also described a cap on construction jobs as "arbitrary and meager." can you explain to me why congress would want to discriminate against the construction industry and treat them any differently than the agriculture industry? cannot answer the rationalization of why that would be the case, but ian
give you statisticalupport . we are in the worst economic recession, depression our industry has ever experienced. what thethetically say demand for the demographic would be. three jobs for every house built. if we are half a million houses shorter production today and we go back over the next 12, 18, 24 economic-e demographic demand, 500,000 houses at three jobs per house, that is 1.5 million jobs. going tobs are not quite get that done and we will be right back in the situation of having a labour shortage and no way to solve it. >> you alluded to the provision in the bill dealing with
prevailing wages. i'm just guessing that you believe the market ought to set the wages in the construction industry, like it does in most of our economy. did i understand that correctly? >> as senator sessions alluded to, the law of supply and demand still exists in construction very vehemently. our houses arelearly a product of supply and demand. we a n nrily interested in a lower-priced as much as we are in meeting the demand of the public. components of a home are generally down on a square foot basis. $3 painting, four dollars for brick. those of the general parameters that vary by locale, quality. are saying the local market will drive product price and the labor you pay, more so than the arbitrary statement tt th is
the prevailing wage because you're paying a higher wage. >> i could just concluded, would you dissatisfied in being likany other sector of the economy in this bill? >> a very simply, yes. >> rather than being targeted for special treatment like to have been? >> yes. >> thank you. next thanr, i am out senator blake, and that concludes the panel. my first question is for ms. jacoby. a lot of this comes to us by what we have seen. i did pretty regular community , and people come up to andfterwards to talk to me they start working for large, well-known companieso haven
office in rhode island being laid off and having people brought in from out of the country. people get brought in only from a bus in the morning, go back, live in the hotel. obviously, the calculation for the company is that it's cheaper ,o lay off the american worker avoid whatever benefits and costs that might be associated with them and bring people in from outside the country to do the same mark. it is very distressing and very discouraging for the american midlevel professional who had to get laid off and help train the .eople who are here are you satisfied that this kind of activity, there is enough teetin the bl to prevent
that from continuing? we can all agree that it is a very unfortunate choice. if we do not take away the incentive for corporationso tt, >> the system you describe is deplorable. is for people with less than a bachelor's degree, for a much less skilled pool of workers. are expressingu about skills in the labour force, we don't know where there are situations where americans are being turned away and emigrants are being hired instead. protectionsequate against that. employers do have to try to find americans and have to pay emigrants at least as much as
their plate -- as much as they're paying comparable americans or more. >> you are satisfied with the strength of those audits? placing a completely unregulated, wild west, unauthorized market with a legal market and that should prevent and remedy the kinds of things you are talking about. that is the beauty of this. it wouldn't replace the wild west environment with a legal situation. >> let me ask another question. techis that the highest end. i'm thinking of a rhode island business that has a high technical level of accomplishment. they don't have a colossal hr
department. they work in a particular niche, when they can identify the person they need as the person they need, there may be the person with a skill set like that anywhere to be found. if you need a specific profile in dover, does this give you the capability to reach outnd recrthat person? the concern i ve heard from these businesses ieven iyou have heard from this person and start recruiting them, it creates so much uncertainty and delay and havoc that if they have an international capability, they will go wherever -- to germany, india or china. are you comfortable we can compete with those kind of people where there is a specific person you are looking for? >> i think the bill seeks a number of important steps. is of the points you hit on
just by going to brown, the ph going to a hospital. help, ashe numbers long as we avoidniend consequences in some of the language, it this is a system that will work and it will benefit -- canicrosoft is enormous and plow its way through a fair amount of complexity, but what do you think of a small business? >> 37,000 different employers h1b's last year and it is oversubscribed again. there is no indication there is any real difficulty and i don't think what has been proposed would make it any more complicated or difficult to get access to those workers and in
fact, i think good faith recruitment should be included in there. thosent employers to get specialized skills then there's no one i've heard of that is against it. >> y mentioned in your ha 25,000 figure and availabletween jobs and the workforce. can you touch on the multiplier effect? can you talk about the multiplier effect? >> study after study has pretty much shown that each job we have has a multiplier effect of 4.3, which means it leads to the steadyn of 4.3 -- the
shows that unless something is done, there will be 50,000 open toh-tech jobs and it adds up 160,000 jobs that the economy loses the opportunity to create. e-verify t program and that is something we wanted to make sure in drafting this legislation that work for employers and employees as well. do you think we have struck at the right balance there? >> we are cautiously optimistic. we support the concept. we think it does a couple of things constructively to solidify the separation between legal and illegal.
we are supportive in that direction. you noted in your testimony that the program needs to be a lot bigger. i think a lot of us would prefer it that way, but you mentioned the program is gnifantly tt than me status quo, which is better than no program. do you want to elaborate on that at all? the reason we have 11 million and authorized immigrants in that country is that there's no way for an unskilled worker who wants to work here year-round to come to the country. we bring a reusable program for workers and this is a usable
program. it is the heart of the fix that we need and i believe the program is a thoughtful and ingenious program. i wish it was bigger, but it is certainly better than nothing. >> there's nothing to suggest that five years from now to suggest it's completely out of hack with labor needs -- thate of the suggestions suggest congress come back and at least look at the workings of the entire bill. this is a vast new change in the system. some of the things, including of these low quotas go through, whether they have been adequate. been through this before. >> we certainly have.
do you want to make any comments about where you think this particular legislation is? do you see this as a workable program overall in terms of as well asboreeds respect for the rule of law? onwe certainly have worked this for a number of years and i've had a chance to study this bill you as the drafted years ago, it is very clear that i think the corps is still there, in that regard, i think it is a good and workable
suggestions. i think there are things that need to be looked at including 1 be viel of the ban h sas andow 'reouoing to define that in a meaningful way. that is the purpose of the hearings and the work being done now. takingnd you all for this matter up. i can say quite safely when year ago i would say there was no chance this would happen and here we are today. i think is progress and moving in that the right direction. >> thank you. if we fail this time around, what do you think the consequences for immigration reform would be? take it at this time
around, it's going to get a lot tougher. >> it only gets more difficult with the passage of time. you have a high skill work force problem and a low skill work force problem. here is one common denominator. i want american businesses to have access to labor we can't find at after y have triedo findn american worker at a reasonable price and competitive wage and that endeavored as a result in finding the worker. smith, from the microsoft perspective, do you prefer to hire american workers? >> as i was saying earlier, we do 85% of our worldwide research here in the united states. i think that tells you how enthusiastic we are >> the answer would be yes? >> yes. i would also add the key to
having all world-class research and development center is to be able to combine world- class american talent with some world-class talent -- >> as i understand the program, you try to find an american worker first? >> there a seqrement that we go out and recruit every day atr 100 college mp is there a desire in your part of the economy to hire american workers if you can? >> absolutely. you don't have cultural issues. >> under our legislation, you are required to go out and seek american worker. >> yes. employers need a fast and legal -- >> that is the goal of this bill. if an american company is trying to find labor to stay in america and not leave the country, we
want to make sure they can do business in america. oure have graduates at major university in advanced science fields from overseas? >> and 54% of all of the ph.d. s when this year went to foreign students. 46% of masters went to foreign students. the answer is yes. >> here's the goal of the legislation. those talented people into the american business economy, is that correct? >> yes. >> we don't want to educate them and our finest universities, they go back to the country of origin and they go back and open up business against them. we want to use the talent as part of the american enterprise system. >> yes.
>> do you believe this bill accomplishes that? >> we are a strong supporter of this piece of legislation. >> from the home builders point of view, i know we don't have as sas as you like, but do you prefer to hire an american worker when possible? >> all things being equal, our answer is yes. our industry has been glamorized as educationally, the construction industry is not the most glamorous of careers. people have moved away. this bill, you have to seek out an american worker before you can get a foreign worker, do you understand that? >> that is reasonable. >> we are trying to make sure
the best and brightest throughout the world come to americano receive an because it is our benefit for them to stay. when it comes to building homes and building low skill areas, were 'ing to make sure american business can accs bor only after an american worker is not found at a competitive wage. if we don't get this part of it right, do you agree our economy is going to be in trouble because we are not growing the work force in america fast enough? does anybody disagree with that concept? you must all agree.
i have heard that senator lee is seconds away. there we go. anking member is recognized until s lee arrives. >> you can finish your question. >> in addition to creating a new temporary worker program, the bill sets up an electronic monitoring system for our employers to keep track of holders for whom the employee -- this would mean they must report when a vis the holder shows up on this job or the languageacks clarity in this manner. this system doesn't even exist today. ableu think they will be to comply with this new
monitoring requirement? >> thank you. the new monitoring system you are talking about i understand is modeled on a system attracts foreign students. no low-skilled employers have to comply with that at any moment. of myerwhelming majority members would rather be on the right side of the law. they want to be in the future and i believe if the program is provided, they will get used to it and get used to some of these hurdles, including having to monitor workers and use the system to track when they take a job and leave a job. you can go ahead. like senator lee is a little further out than we thought. i will discharge this panel and
thank you for participating. we will be in recess for two minutes while the next panel comes up and the signs are changed. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
>> good afternoon to the new panel. welcome to the hearing of the senate judiciary committee. all ofng to introduce the panelists briefly. the first person to i'm introducing is a dreamer and immigrant rights leader serving as the director of the bridge project in miami, florida. she is the co-founder of students for equal rights. i know senator durbin would like to say a few words. >> thank you. at 2:00, the senate is in session and i have a bill on the floor. i explained that in advance. what would not want her to think i am leaving in her testimony. she has been suchtf this legisln
passing that dream act. she came to the united states from ecuador at age 7 and was the highest-ranking rotc student in her high-school. actively involved in the dream act. i don't know how many you have been involved, but it involved a number of students from florida who would be eligible for the dream act who walked from miami to washington. gathered way, they students of like mind. some were eligible and some were not. it's a cause that has grown in intensity because of your leadership. i will stick around as long as i can, but the dream that is where it is today because of people like yourself. thank you.
our next guest is the za. ident and ceo of la ra you do a wonderful job and i'm glad you are here. mark is the executive director at the center for immigration sties and has worked there since 1995. laura currently serves as president of the american immigration lawyers association based in denver, colorado. and the kansas secretary of state from 2001-2003. he was counsel to u.s. attorney general, john ashcroft. we are delighted to have the year. please proceed with your statements. >> thank you.
recognizeke to chairman leahy and senator grassley and thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify today. the emigration modernization act of 2013. i am an undocumented american. i was born in 1985. to1993, at age 8, i moved the united states with my parents and three siblings. out of everyone who is here testifying today, i'm the only one who comes to you as one of the 11 million undocumented people in this country. my family reflects the diversity in america. we are part of a strong working class. we are your neighbors, classmates, fellow prisoners, consumers, and are part of the fabric of this nation.
my father is an ordained southern baptist minister who works as a window washer. my mother is a nurse's aide, but because of a condition, she has not been able to work for a couple of years. they can work and contribute to this country's onomrowt she is married to a united states citizens and has to united states citizen children. she will be able to vote in the national election. my second all the system manages a construction company. thedoes not qualify for department of homeland's security initiative for deferred action of childhood arrival because she is over the age of 30. however, the dream act provisions will provide her a permanent path fwa
carounger brother has a washing business. last month, at age of 27, he was able to get a driver's license. however, this is not a permanent solution. last, i am the wife of a venezuelan of cuban descent to as lived in the united states for 26 years. miraculously last year,ft 18 years of waiting, he is able to obtain his permanent legal residents. the system shows how is outdated and in desperate need of modernization. my family is not alone. the co-director of get equal asked me to join on a campaign to seek immigration reform. i knew to put an end to the separation of families, heal the hurt and pain in our community, we needed to peacefully demonstrate our lack of
immigration status. 2010 i began the trail of dreams, a walk from miami to washington dc. we wanted to show our love for this country, which we consider our home. we risk our lives, put everything on the line, walked in the cold, felt the pain and our body and calluses on our feet and we walked in faith in our before us and country, people have put their lives at risk to fight for freedom for legal reforms and the american values this country was founded on and aspires to. we do not allow anything to stop us, including the fringe elements of american society. we have seen how this fear mongering is to immigrants. the fear mongering and images
people used to portray people like me as created fsef o we arr translates into hate. i remember how robes of white in a kkk demonstration covered the streets of a small town in georgia. an event eerily similar happened this saturday in atlanta, georgia. america's history shows we have been here before and we have overcome. since the walk, i have carried the hopes and dreams of thousands of people along the way. people working in chicken farms, they labor centers, newspapers, clinics,ts, health doctors and nurses. these people are mothers, fathers, children and neighbors. their dreams are in the hands of this committee and the rest of congress. their dreams now lie in this
bill. n whoof us makthelike me, 11 ed states stronger will bring about significant economic gains in terms of growth, tax revenues, and jobs. it is time to set fear aside and deal with issues affecting the entire nation. doing nothing is no longer acceptable. individuals who are citizens in every way except on paper ask for a road map to citizenship. in the words of my good friend and a journalist to testify in front of this very committee, what do you want to do with me? what do you want to do with us? with dignity, i surrender my talent, passion, life. i asked you to give me my family and the 11 million of us an opportunity to fully integrate and achieve our
american dream. thank you. >> thank you and welcome. please proceed. >> thank you to chairman in he and a ranking member grassley and that other members of the committee for the opportunity to appear before you today. i would like to thank the bipartisan group of senators who worked to find common ground and a common-sense solution on this very difficult issue. 744 is a significant milestone and presents an opportunity to move forward on immigration reform. first, there is a clear path to legalization and citizenship at the core of this bill. u.s.ponsors recognize the has been successful as a nation of immigrants because we allow and encourage those who come to our shores to fully participate in american life. this legislation seeks to ensure
the best interests of our country continue to be assured. a key step is requiring 11 million undomented immigrants who are here d want trn ,al atus to come forward passed background checks, learn english and apply for citizenship. i want to express our concern for the committee that the process may be too long and costly for many families in the u.s.. unlike previous immigration reform, this bill would create a 21st century legal immigration system intended to be responsive to u.s. labor needs in a regulated, orderly fashion while providing labor rights and protection. this is the best way to prevent having another debate about legalizing another group of workers. it is imperative our legal
immigration system keep pace with our economy and changing society. while the legislation not fully addresses worker-based legal immiation, it sends mixed messages on family immigration. make no mistake. our country has had a historic commitment to family unity because it is good for society and our economy. we are glad the bipartisan legislation seeks to reduce the backlog fory long visas. but it fails to take into account the families that come in all shapes and sizes and include siblings pulling their resources together to buy a home and start a business. adult children taking care of their elderly parents and national same-sex families. finally, americans hold immigrant integration in high regard and want to see immigrants pledge allegiance to the country. we are pleased to see the
bipartisan legislation also bitudes many measures immigrants want to learn english. and make greater contributions to the nation. i know it because my organization and are hundreds of affiliate's help immigrant on this journey every day. i would like to acknowledge compromises will have to be made by all parties. significant concessions have already been made in this legislation. many that cut into the interest of emigrants and hispanics, if each of us was looking at only individual pieces from our own parochial perspective, there is much we would be forced to oppose. just as we are asking others to set aside their priorities, we recognize all of us have to accept some compromise to
advance our common goal of producing a bill that reflects our strong and sustainable emigration policy for the 21st century. a bright line will soon emerge between those who seek to preserve the status quo, which serves no one except those who profit from a broken immigration system, and those working in good faith to reach a compromise that the country desperately needs. in stark terms, those who oppose progress are not just advocates for doing nothing. they are advocates for worse than nothing. opponents of progress would ignore the growing gap between the needs of the 21st century society and a legal immigration system that has remained unchanged for nearly three decades. in short, many offer the same as feeble, failed policies that may advance their political
interests. this bright line will be steered into the minds of latino voters. the voters to create a game changing moment for this debate in november and the 14.4 million prospective hispanic voters that will join the electra between now and 2028. our comm will be engaged and watch closely to make sure the immigration legalization process is real and family and workers are protected. thank you. >> thank you for the important role the national council has played in this discussion. >> thank you. to pastorget fleming, mr. grassley has a statement from former border patrol officers that will be placed into the record. now we will hear from pastor fleming. >> good afternoon, senators and thank you for the privilege and
opportunities to talk as we work for a bipartisan solution for our nation's immigration crisis. my personal encounters with hurting people have compelled me to work toward improving a system that is not working. it's not working for a young father with children backeom, widowo teenagers, a family that has done everything but is caught in a system that is painfully slow, inefficient, and often unfair. i spoken to law-enforcement officials and government officials at every level. everyone agrees to the magnitude of this problem. but when it comes to solutions, the ones we have heard come from to opposing poles. we've heard what sounds like a call for open borders, amnesty with little regard for the rule of law. we have heard the call for closed borders and deportation which seems to have too little regard for human dignity and
comes at the expense of our national identity. we are a nation of immigrants. in the midst of this confusion, i wonder what god has to say. i read enrollments 13 that every person be subject to the authority. there is no authority exit from god. the authorities resist what god has appointed and those who resist will incur judgment. god is a god of order and our nation must be a nation of law and our laws must be just. when aead in leviticus, stranger sojourns in your plan, you should do no wrong. treat the sake -- treat the stranger as a native among you and love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of egypt. god expects us to treat all people with compassion, each
person having been created in his image. which one is it? mercy or compassion? there is balance between the two. we ought to be guided by a relentless to admit to protect th val dty of man nd p avent suffering wherever we can. since there is more at the heart of this debate and millions of undocumented immigrants, there are millions of real people with names and faces. you that each one matters to got. we need a legal system in public policies that are just, but also he made. thecognize i'm not in majority and maybe not everyone shares my conviction, but there are a great many americans that do. i'm a local church pastor, but i have the privilege to d
th thousands of pastors to represent a growing tide to support a bipartisan effort and comprehensive approach for immigration reform. the houston area's pastor's council wrote a declaration on reform and more than 1000 pastorsonig e sout btist convention with 16 million members passed a resolution in 2011 called for a just and humane public policy with regard to public policy. most recently, a national organization of christian denominations has been formed known as the evangelical table with thousands of christian leaders representing thousands of members calling for bipartisan reform that respects the god-given dignity of every person and protect the unity of immediate family and respects the rule of law, guarantees
borders, and establishes a path toward legal citizenship for those who wish to become citizens. that's why i'm grateful to see the introduction of this legislation. while this bill may not be perfect yet, it appears to be an excellent starting point and moves things forward toward real solutions. in a passionate debate with views, it calls for is to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. i stand before the lord and give an account. it will be clear not because it was popular with men, but because it was right with god. i'm calling on you, our representatives and leaders to share my sense of calling and responsibility. let's not waste this opportunity for the sake of god and people created in his image. we are praying for you and we as we present as
bipartisan reform. the center for immigration studies. please proceed. >> thank you. i will be talking about legalization parts of the bill. iteria ismon -- the boston bombing not an excuse for delay of considering this emigration bill. it is and demonstrate -- is an illustration of certain projects -- certain problems that exist. just to touch on a few of them before i move on to the main body of my statement. why were they given asylum since they had passports? why were they given asylum since
th parents mov back? what does it say about the automated background checks that this bill would subject 11 million immigrants to but in person interviews by fbi agents resulted in no action even though it was based on concerns of terrorism. about ourit say broken patriotic assimilation syemegal color relatived imt young people that became so alienated that they became a engage in this sort of mass murder against americans? move it to the legalization part of this bill. there may be circumstances under which amnesty in certain illegal aliens can make sense. the question is would you do it before or after the problems
that created the large iegal populationavbe solved? puts thetely, s744 legalization of the legal population before the completion of the necessary tools to avoid the creation of a new illegal alien population in the future. what's more, the bill makes widespread fraud very likely if this goes into effect. much has been made of the triggers that would prevent immigrants from receiving permanent residence. those triggers are clearly a step in the right direction. employment authorization, border security. with regard to legalization, those triggers are essentially irrelevant. the only trigger that matters to the legalization is the presentation of two border security plans by homeland security. given the number of similar
plans that have passed before unately, it onlhut matt receipe amnesty. that is to say it transforms the illegal immigrants into a person who is lawfully admitted into the united states. the rest is an upgrade from one legal status to another and not the amnesty itself. the other triggers would trigger an upgrade from a green card like, if you will, which is to say work authorization, travel papers, etc. to green card premium, which is the regular green card. but unfortunately, because of bureaucratic incentive to get those benchmarks and forced, that doesn't create much of an incentive to get things done.
once the illegal immigrants are out of the shadows and no longer undocumented, the urgency on -- on the part of an is the supporters to push the mpletion of the security measures essentially evaporated. received thiswho amnesty are likely to do so frequently. in reading the requirements in the bill, it harkens back to the immigration control and reform act which was called one of the most extensive immigration fraud perpetrated against the united states government. just to touch on a few things that would result in such fraud , a crash of applications was created according to the department justice inspector general. that was only 3 million people. what kind of crash would we see with three aforetime that many applicants? the bill does not require interviews of amnesty applicants and we have seen with the amnesty going on, very few
people are interviewed. have gonapplicants affidavits were extremely widespread and created much of the fraud we dealt with in that program. the current bill includes a confidentiality clause, a sanctuary provision permitting any information to be used against the applicant. likewise, this does not require the deportation of any failed applicant, essentially creating a heads i win, tails you lose situation where the applicant can apply and never be deported. the consequence of this kind of fraud is very serious. that anrom last time egyptian illegal immigrant driving a cab in new york fraudulently received amnesty as a farm worker and that legal status permitted him to travel
to afghanistan, and it is terrorist training and leadtr i woul encourage this panel to look hard at these legalization provisions and see if there is any way to salvage them and avoid the kinds of problems we are almost certain to get. >> thank you. i don't want to take the time of the others. laura serves as the president. thank you very much. you, mr. chairman and thank you for the opportunity to address you today on this exceedingly important and historic moment. i will not use my time to argue about his conclusions on these things.
we have been living with a failed experiment now for almost 20 years and i would suggest if you're have heard from banging your head against the law, the solution is not to bang your head harder. the architecture of this bill shows great creativity, great courage, and i would argue the gang of eight has shown great courage in reaching a bipartisan architecture. our concerns are that we not lose sight of our very core values that aid in our communities. ofilies are the cornerstone our communities and is a tragic irony that our current system places roadblocks in place of the people who have the most significant in deepest ties to our communities. family applications are plagued by long delaysi just pulled up the visa
bulletin to see what those delays were. the adult child would wait over seven years to begin the process if that individual is from mexico, we're talking over two decades. if we start talking about categories which are apparently u.s. siege, the family of citizens, those back logs go ba d asithould be clear that we should not recognize a false dichotomy between business integration and family-based immigration. they interrelate. many of our most important innovators and entrepreneurs came to the family system, not just the business system. less family friendly policies may dissuade highly skilled immigrants who have families from choosing to emigrate to the united states, especially in the case of individuals who are t community. e lgb
they may go to other countries to keep their family intact. the best thing i can do is give you an example of how this impacts people. we see families torn apart. we see people without options. we see adult children of people sponsors who are is who might have no ability to emigrate on their own. for lgbte that couples, an individual merit in the united states but doesn't have another way to stay in the country, that individual is at a roadblock and cannot emigrate under the current system or proposal. ofdo want to thank the gang eight and senator leahy for your leadership.
streamlining this process, providing more of due process increases efficiency in getting rid of the arbitrary one-year filing deadline will increase the fairness of this process which is at the key of our vision in the world of freedom and fairness. has beenon court described as something on the corner of byzantine and absurd. is death penalty consequences with traffic court rules. we see backlogs remained well over 300,000 cases despite significant efforts to prioritize the cases that are proceeding. we are encouraged by the effort to include more counsel for people going through proceedings, especially
ofividuals in the expansion the legal orientation program. that provides a win-win-win the dhs,t for the courts, for the justice system and everything else. we need to make sure we do not resort to draconian commitments. they don't work. they don't deter behavior and they do not accommodate the need for humanitarian consideration on a case by case basis. immigration detention also needs a more significant eye toward it. we have seen an incredible increase in spending on detention and an increase in the number of beds. i would like to see we have more alternatives to detention as we go forward with the new
bill. i would like to make aricommentr fraud going forward under the legalization program. what wveundedeferred action is a very important forrt by e government presenting incredibly useful information on its website and administering the program in an intelligent way. there has been an incredible sure good, to make solid information gets out there. keys to going to be the making sure the program doesn't suffer from a fraud or any other abuses. >> thank you very much. is the kansasss secretary of state.
he has counseled -- he was counsel to u.s. attorney general, john ashcroft. >> thank you. this bill ha portrayed as a balance between immigration and enforcement. it is not a balanced bill. we offer nine reasons why this bill is problematic and not all balance. three problems with the amnesty provisions and three problems with the enforcement provisions. the first one is the background checks in this bill are insufficient to prevent a terrorist from getting amnesty. the bill has no requirement that you provide a document that says you are who you say you are. that allows the terrorist to he gets thee, identity card, verifying and giving credibility and he gets legal status that allows him to travelbr
it demon howge can be formeri. even if a terrorist attempts to use his real name to gain amnesty, the background check is unlikely to stop him. as was mentioned, most of these aliens are not going to have personal interviews. he had to background checks and an interview with the fbi and or unable to conclude he had terrorist intentions. that was far more scrutiny than these aliens will have. --had multiple terrorists this is simply a mathematical likelihood that it will happen again on a greater scale. at saunders and people who have been the porters' are legalized.
i'm not aware where we have reached back and grab peoe already remov brought them gainty. worse, at saunders are made eligible. for those of you who don't remember the term, this is someone removed by the immigration court becomes a fugitive and remains and disobeyed a court order. our immigration courts will be ing meaningless messages. if you hang out, you wie able to stay in that united states. alienslizes dangerous to receive deferred action. the directive was enacted -- not even enacted, proclaimed by the secretary of homeland security in june of 2012. it is now in effect but it violates federal law.
that is what this congress set in 1996. there was a hearing in april in dallas and we learned that under the directive, multiple dangerous aliens who had been arrested but not convicted had been released back onto the streets. 14 assault on a federal officer, sexual assault on a minor, those aliens would be eligible under the bill. this bill promises and effectiveness rate of 90%. that they will be turned back. there is no way of knowing the denominator. probably never will. onlyecond problem is it does so in high-risk areas where
the apprehensions are 30,000. every time the border patrol does something different here, the smugglers moveheir nwork the smugglers have abandoned that part of the border and go to a different part of the border. dhs have beenat cooking the books. that that is over inflated. if they are not calculating their numbers, why do not expect and to calculate their figure? they say that it will be pre- empted. many of those state efforts have been the only enforcement.
implemented at the beginning of 2008. populatiompare to a 1% drop tionwi the would be gutted of those bills become law. statesould be a vacuum would be prevented from doing absolutely anything. that is an important flaw in the bill. -verifyl scraps the e system. this bill's traps that system and replaces it with something else. even though it get 90% and approval -- approval ratings, one has to wonder why the bill is written this way. the fact that they don't have to
be in place for five years from enactment, you are talking about a nine-year timeframe at the minimum before it's likely to be in effect. seem to be a goo faith effort. if it were serus, it would say make it mandatory now. like the states have done a very successfully. the senators -- i know them very well. they have met with me and they have worked very hard to work in good faith. you were part of a create -- part of a courageous watch to reach it courageous march to washington. made me think of these civil
rights marches of the '50s and '60s and i'm old enough to remember them. they were brought to the united states through no fault of their own and toldme o of the shadows. you do this even though you risk being taken out of the only country you have ever known what inspires you to step forward that way? >> thank you. the love that i have for this country, the love i have for my family, community, and the love i have for myself because i have a dream. i have three degrees, a bachelor's in special education, and i want to open a music therapy center to work with people with mental disabilities. that is what drives me, and what draw on it -- it dries a lot undocumented people who are
seeking an of opportunity for their family, and that 1500-mile walk, all we did was talk to people every day, everyday people, and after two seconds of telling our story and share with them, what is really happening within our system, we were able to change a lot of hearts and minds. >> thank you. i am so used to calling you by your first name. you are the president of the largest hispanic civil rights organization in the united states, so i think that carries a lot of weight with hispanics in america. as you know, i have supported immigration reform for years and years, even though that is not a major issue in vermont. it is a major, a moral issue for this country. but i worry about a proposal
--t contains false promises ndcernible] legalization proposal in this bill drafted by the eight senators. the you consider its straightforward, fair, and achievable? >> i believe there was a good- faith effort to modernize our immigration program, and that is an important step, because what we failed to do in 1986, and it was a failure toward knowledge, was on the one hand we did not create the flexibility, of course i did this to look at how we might be able to make adjustments in terms of our economy and the needs of our country and its work force. this program seems to build that end. and we want to make sure that is something that can be done. on the one hand this also reduces the backlog for many who
have been waiting a long time coming for family visas, and for us, that is an important step. on the other hand, we have concerns about the eliminati prd adult children. i think whenook at the billa t parts that it has, there is a lot to like and dislike, but overall i think right now this presents a framework to that we can build upon as we move forward. i am very encouraged by what i have seen. >> thank you, and dr. fleming, you currently leading a church in texas. you spoke about the moral imperative is to reunite families and help millions of people. moral referred to the aspects of it, and i earlier mentioned being a grandson of an
immigrant, i walked all -- my great-grandson. remember my grandparents speaking of morality of people coming into this country and theys insist w to whatrought yspeak up publicly in this matter? you have a lot of issues that we you might speak out on. what are you out on this one? >> thank you. as i mentioned in my remarks, it is the human aspect for me and the strong sense of god's movement and working in this as it relates to the humanities side. i am not a politician, attorney, and a month qualified to speak on terms of policy at, but there is no solution either extreme. we have to come together in the
middle and keep the humanity of those involved in the from our minds. i am excited to say there has been a rising middle voice in this debate. we have made a lot a progress, and i am grateful where you're talking about it today. i feel something good is going to happen. >> final question, ms. lichter, do you think this will bring people out of the shadows and register? >> absolutely. we see this on a daily basis. people want to know how they paid their taxes come join their military, started business. they want to be fully functioning members of their community. >> thank you. senator grassley? but my first question, mr. kirkorian, my understanding of the bill is so far undocumented immigrants will get every operative the to apply for legalization and will have more opportunities to appeal the hacisions
curity officials make. would you discuss that part of the bill, please. people who permits are in deportation proceedings to apply for thety. people who have already been deported come at least those who were deported of the year one and a half, want to apply for the amnesty. if they are turned down initially because of some in adequate document, they are allowed a second bite at the apple. not need to beat flip, but this section could have been sub headed "no illegal alien left behind." the goal seems to get as much amnesty for as many people as possible. a section ande
tell me what it means. on page 330, and this is in the legalization title, it says, discretion to waive a ground of an admissibility at the ndary determines such refusal of admission is against the public interest or would resultn hardshito aliens, united states citizens, or permanent residents, parents, spouses, child. is a hugeovision loophole, and i do loophole,dhs secretary should have this immense discretion, and this is a massive increase in discretion over current law. waivers overllows extreme hardship. now we're just down to a hardship. it expands the hardship to the
alien's parent as well. thepages before that, 328, same discretion is given to judges in court proceedings. they would have the attorney -- the ability to terminate those proceedings. we should note that the waiver can also be applied to people who alreadyave be deported and are inadmissible. for example, a person who has been removed and perhaps has been convicted of some form of domestic violence or spousal abuse could come back in and clean eligibility under this waiver. this is a loophole that might seem small enough, but is actually very big. >> the people that apply for legalization -- this means rpi status -- get the night and have the opportunity to appeal, and if so, what is that appeal
process, and what impact would it have? >> the answer is yes, they have this right to appeal, and we already see the immigration courts overflowing with cases. this is a constant complaint. it goes all the way back to the time when i was at just over 10 years ago and we were dealing with the show that. and will send the people who have been denied it to the immigration court system and you will be overloading it further. you will find the system -- there will be a tendency now with discretion for pc parts for judges to find easy out to clean their dockets. it will go ahead and exercise discretion if anyone related to the alien can say they are suffering heart appeared is a combination of overloading the system will be problematic. >> some may say this bill as a
boon to immigration attorneys. the you know of any specific provision that will only create loopholes down the road? >> there are a number that some to mind. in the employment provisions of a -- the restrictions did not apply to sporadic or intermittent employees. hat ref laborer, which is what a large percentage .f immigrants are now it could be applied to seasonal labor. there is a loophole for employee years who make an attempt to comply with the terrifying employees. that attempt seems ill placed about because e-verify is so easy to comply with. it is like people have a problem when they sign up on the internet and run names to the system. one wonders what could be a good-faith failure.
i try to look at the dhs website and i could not find it. is that good enough? there is a convincing evidence standard for employers. that elevates the standard very high, unnecessarily high, so employers are given lots of leeway. these are just a few and i could go on. >> my time is up. le make a clg the use of waiverp several times in the questioning here. i think we cannot blame the president if he has certain authorities and he uses it. i do not want to use the word "abuse," but this president has taken more advantage of opportunities that have been given to him under law, and when we consider the 1693 delegatis of authority to the president under the health care reform bill, i think we ought to be very careful, and this legislation, as important as it is, that we have immigration
reform not to over delegate authority and waivers and things like that. thank you. >> i will now turn to senator klobuchar. i will note where we are, when we approached 10 of, i want to pause for a couple minutes. it was decided that at 10 ,inutes until 2:00, the senate and committees, will hold a i willof silence, and commence -- announced that as we're closer. >> they keep. i wanted to focus on the economics of this bill and how it was to our country plus economy to move forward on reform. here i want to get out an issue that is equally important.
i will start with you, ms. murguia. i am a former prosecutor and i have seen dozens of cases where immigrant victims will be victims, and there pervert their will be -- and perpetrator -- would repor it and they would have to eat because law enforcement knew about the case. they would try to get them to change their story. this would be based on legal threats. we tried hard to keep the program in there and extended it to stalking victims, but we did not expand. the gang of eight, realizing the importance this tool has, did expand them. could you talk about why this is so important for law enforcement, and if you want to
add anything -- >> thank you, senator, and thank you for your leadership. that was a huge victory for many of us who wanted to support that. areave seen incidents higher than normal in many of these communities. the stresses on these families are enormouswe not had assurances that protections would be built then. of those visasre and allow for folks to come forward when they feel they are at risk and not to violate their status. this is a huge step forward, and we really are appreciative of the gang of eight and their thoughts in this regard. >> thank you for your leadership on this. this is a critically important piece. it means immigrant victims of crime can step forward and help
prosecute the their abusers, whether it is something like a rape or domestic violence or something more heinous. the one thing we need to see more attention to is the removal of the need to have a law enforcement certification. we find the victim him or herself beings the victim of the political tenor of the particular area in which they were victimized. that should not have any place if a victim is courageous enough and brave enough come forward and testify and assist the prosecution, that is stan. >> that is something you love would like to see added? >> yes. >> most of the focus we had on visas and green cards were on engineering, science, and those types of technology. as you know the u.s. is facing a daunting shortage of doctors. one of the things i have worked hard on with this bill and want to improve is the funding for
home-court science and technology, engineering, and math degrees and giving science and high school, and the fees based on these dia erootuntraee doctors w in the last decade my state has recruited over 200 doctors through the program. andeintroduced this bill, this is included along with many other good things in this gang of a proposal. could you talk about how important it is when you have re rural area -- we had one hospital that was not going to deliver babies because they did not have a doctor that if perform a c-section. in rural areas this is a born.
>> that you for your leadership. this is another area of critical importance. we have a high number of foreign medical graduates who are foreign-born. they are eager to take these jobs out in rural areas and in some underserved urban areas as well. and anything we can do to the immigration law to assist them with that process is going to in oure benefit communities. that dhs, the department of labor, and justice should use their attorneys to combat the disease of all these programs and protect farm workers from abuse, protecting american workers. what does the bill to improve the tools the government has to prevent potential mis use of our visa program?
>> there are numerous opportunities and elements of this new bill that would allow us to combat abuse, and numerous mechanisms to investigate that abuse. at this point in time, under the law we currently have, that is where things are a b a need to . i would caution that that process needs to be fair, balanced, and it needs to make sure that all sides are heard from. >> appreciate that. people have to hear these parts of the bill as well as the import pathway to citizenship, things that we're doing to make it more possible to enforce against fraud that are not in existing law. thank you. sessions ienator wish to interrupt his time as speaking, and we are now within
a minute of that time -- just so everybody understands who came in late -- the senate agreed by consensus this afternoon when it came in that at this time we a minute of silence in memory of the people, the police officer, others who were killed, those who lost life and limb, at the patriots' day boston marathon. i would ask those who wish to join, if you would please join me and stand for a moment of silence.
the expressions here and elsewhere in our government will mean a lot of to the people there. senators sessions? >> thank you, and i assume we will at some point recognized the volunteer firefighters and all in texas who responded to help their community and then lost -- >> [indiscernible]
>> i thought the first panel showed we had problems with ag and low-skilled workers, and that was a portion of the bill, and the second panel on high- skilled workers indicated there are problems there. ihinkour testimony indicates problems here that need to be dealt with. just would ask dr. fleming, you know, i do not believe there is scriptural basis for the idea that a modern nation state cannot have a lawful system of immigration and is somehow a prohibited from enforcing the and forcing- legitimate law. nehemiah, whenhat he came back to jidda, asked
that he be given letters that he might pass through and come to judah, and he was given that, and then he came to the governors of the province and gave them the king's letters. he sawes, at edom, are on a city at the edge of your territory. please let us pass through your land. we will not pass through field or vineyard or drink water from a well. we will go along the king's i wake, not turn aside from the right hand or at the left until we have passed through your territory. he shall not pass through. he asked again. he said he shall not pass through. give israelfused to passage to the ttory, so israel turneawrom him and did not go through the
territory. loveidea that somehow the statements in leviticus 19 is not the kind of thing that would indicate that nations should not it isaws, and i think healthy to leave the ones a straight. some people have been citing scripture pretty loosely, it seems to me. in genesis, abraham and isaac had to negotiate treaties to sojourn in and obtain water rights. in kings, joseph requested permission from the pharaoh to sojourn in egypt para ed i would phrase sowhen the adjourn is used, one scholar says that so turn means lawfully to be in that area. i give you a chance to respond.
>> they get, and i appreciate you doing my job for me today. my members would like to share with us sometime as well. i could not disagree at all with what he said. i completely agree. that is what we have been asking for legislation that respects the rule of law, citrus our national borders. i agree with that, and the doctor is a personal friend of mine, stripers you quoting him. that being said, surely, if our system currently as it is structured were true to the scriptures you just quoted, we -ould not have a 11-million plus. sinceotch i have said 2007 we need to deal compassionately with people who have been here a long time, they should not all be deported and should not be attended to be
deported. we need to do it in a way that is appropriate. you know, i believe senator rubio issued a facts check today that saidy about 30 million people being legalized is not accurate. well, i would first ask all of you who support the bill what is the number that will be legalized under this system. the amnesty its stock would provide legalization for 11 million. the backlog is 4.5 million, and accelerated backlog elimination that would add 4.5 million. the future flow will be 50% above current future flow at least, and that would be another 50 million. that is around 30 million, and that does not include other migration, family migration.
do you want to comment on that? this issue, to get actual numbers, but one thing you left out is this legislation would make unlimited the immediate relatives of green card holders as the immediate relatives of u.s. citizens are now admitted. that would necessarily increase numbers as well. >> millions, perhaps? >> over time, certainly. >> thank you for your work in this area over time. i would just note that your comment about the hardship definition and some of the other definitions, all of us need to listen to that, because if you get to the point where you cannot have clarity in these cases and every case has to be tried out over whether or not
there is a hardship allegation, in a practical lawyer, that that could be destabilizing to the whole legal system and the ability to proceed. my time is up. modifier likeve a extreme in most courts of law, that tells the judge exercise your discretion carefully here as opposed to just the word arch of, which is an open-ended term and invites a lovely way, and it would be problematic in our court system. senatorll yield now to durbin who will take the gavel for a bit. i would note as much as i have enjoyed being chairman of the judiciary, i just want to amend not tryingode, i am
to amend genesis -- >> [indiscernible] suggest i did. i appreciate the bible, but we wi stick to t ->> i know you une the ultimate authority applies -- >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. here, andfor being thank you for all you have done on behalf of the dreamers. my staff has asked me to read the stories of more dreamers. i have done that 54 times on the floor of the senate. each story is amazing in its own right. the accomplishments of these young people, the fact that they have known no other country in their lives and they want to be part of america's future, they have extraordinarily -- extraordinary educational
achievements that they have managed to put together in american schools the muscles that were opened by american taxpayers, so their education haseeorteby our untr all the skill and talent they're asking us to give them a chance mr. -- the you think the dreamers to observe a chance to be legal in america? that of course involves a lot of calculations because we are talking about in the dream at the heart of the bill about resources, places, and for example the dream at the portion of the bill, like other dream acquiescent since 2001, says the current provision against getting in-take tuition rates to illegals has to be removed. >> want to ask a matter of principle. let's go to basic values here.
these young people were brought to america at the age of eight. it was not exactly her decision to come from ecuador. time a again we find cases where children we brought in and the parents did not file the red peppers or overstayed a visa, and this child knew nothing about it. getting beyond immigration policy and the specifics, which we could talk about for a long time, as a matter of justice and fairness, do you believe these young people should be penalized for the wrongdoing of their parents? >> that is exactly what i was going to go, to that biblical metaphor and verse. we're not supposed to punish the children, but we should not reward the children for the sins of the parents. i say treat the children mutually. i think that would be the most just thing to do. >> how would you treat them the jolie? >> treating them the equivalent
of other people who hold the same nationality. do not allow them to jump ahead, which is what it did, allow them to have the same opportunity and that might be getting rid of the 10-year bar and go back and get an line with the rest of their country. >> we have debated that, and it is interesting because eight senators and some pretty conservative republicans, basically came to the opposite conclusion. they said what you are ment.sting is punishing i have been at this for 12 years. i bet hundreds, maybe thousands, of these young people. to suggest they are guilty, culpable, should pay a price for what they did wrong -- it just defies basic compassion, which i feel is part of this calculation, as well as justice. i would say this notion that we
heard in the last campaign, self-the port, that might have been one of your points of view at that time, overlooking the obvious, america will be a stronger nation when we acknowledge who we are. my mother was an immigrant to this country, right here at the age of 2. her son is now a united states senator. that is my story, my family's story, that happens to be america story. she was given a chance to naturalize at 23 am and she did, and i have her certificate on the back of my desk, and i am proud of it. i think america is better because she came over on a boat from lithuania and managed to live here and make a life. you know what -- my story is not unique. what happened to her, was given to her, this opportunity, a this country but it is today. many people who fight back
against immigration are ignoring who we are, our birthright as a nation. we went through three months of debate over this, at least, pate meetings, trying to figure out what was a just and fair way to resolve this. this notion that immigrants are somehow negative or bad for america, that is not a fact at all, never has been. with is a faire up approach. when it comes gaby and hundreds of thousands like her, she has never known any other country. this is her home. >> may i respond? it is not fair to characterize are resisting immigration, we are resisting illegal immigration.
self-deportation is not some idea. is an idea where people may comply with all law by theires l so for it adopts, that you increase the penalties, people start complying with all law. if you ratchet up the penalties for violating the law, people choose to leave. >> you are an elected official in kansas, correct? >> yes. >> so and my. we say the voters have the last word. voters at the last word on self- deportation on november 6. you can stick to that theory as long as you like, but what we talk about now is whether america is a better country if we have an immigration system that brings 11 million people out of the shadows, to register with government, so we know who they are, where they are, to a
criminal background check, or whether we leave them in the shatters. it is pretty clear. we are a better nation when we have these 11 million people coming ford, and for these three ednisters, there been treat differently. most of them have spent their lives in hiding, and they of amazing things.d i will stop now because i think i have the gavel -- if i retrieve it. are there other members who would like to make a comment? senator cornyn? >> as long as you have the devil, you can go as long as you want. asked mr. to krikorian, is there anything short of removal that you would not consider the amnesty? >> no.
it means an illegal immigrant gets to stay. officer ofademic comparative immigration amnesty. but it is a legal term. how about you? isthing short of removal amnesty to you? >> i would argue declining to remove and on lawfully present alien is amnesty-;lus, because you're given the person what he is taken, namely presence in the united states, unlawfully, so you're not only declined to punish, but you allow him to have what he has taken bait you could define amnesty as not prosecuting, but this is more. this is allowing the person to keep what he has unlawfully taken. >> some have said the status quo represents defacto amnesty. would you agree with that?
disagree this administration and others have deliberately chosen not to enforce the law, that is a kind of the fact of and the stick and yes, the only way to resolve it that we havebutiv i would argue more than just a defacto amnesty, which people use that term to it describe a situation of facts that we have on the ground, but we have more of that. 15, toket of june doesn't fall, is an order that declares that the current provision of u.s. law, usc 1225 will not be in force, and officers ordered to place certain aliens in proceedings shall disobeyed the law. we have more than a defacto amnesty. we have an executive branch that is ignoring the statute as
written. either -- there are a number of people, including me, who believe that representations' that the border will b and theblack have an e effective system of modern during and addressing pisa overstays has been adequately -- there are you say has adequately addressed in this bill. you know that since 1996 congress has said the executive branch should create a system of monitoring be set overstays, yet today 40% of illegal immigration does not come across the border, it is people coming in illegally and overstaying. i ask you whether you understand those who have seen this movie before and have said
these promises and assurances that this is the last time this will ever have to happen, because we're going to institute a system of border security and enforcing the law against people who i lally, but overstay their visas, that has never come to pass. can you appreciate the skepticism that people feel when they hear that again? thank you. i think maybe the better way to look at this is -- >> up at it my way, first. then you can look at it a better way. can you understand the skepticism -- >> [indiscernible] thesehave heard representations' earlier only to find that they have not worked. >> right, and to avoid that sense of disenchantment with the method, i would like to draw your attention to what the real cost is of the overstay or the
illegal entry. it is not for lack of enforcement. it is not for lack of attracting a system. it is lack for unlawful past for people who wish to change from their non-iranding >> you are kidding me. when you come in on a 30 date be set you're saying they do not know it is time to go home? >> i did not say it was for a lack of path to citizenship. it was for a lack of options. >> we have legal immigration options -- we naturalize as many as a million people a year in this country. we have a path for people to function through the legal system. you're telling me some people have no action -- option than to overstay their visas. >> we have had three hours as to why that pat is inadequate and does not work. what i believe the architecture that the gang of eight has come up with would do much to provide
an intelligence common sense system, and if our focus instead shifts to making those pathways achievable for low- skill workers, i guess the workers, families, adding laws,the refo will .n belie that because i believe i'm the only person on this panel that actually practices. i have been doing this for nearly two decades. i see this every single day. >> out of fairness to you, would you care to respond? >> i understand the perspective, and the fact you have someone representing people it's like man and gaby's, we know there are different views on how to get to perhaps the same end goal, which is making sure our borders are secure as well as making sure we have a process that is regular, orderly, and fair to bring in new immigrants. i appreciate that we need to
give ourselves the space that this discussion without pointing fingers or people's -- let me say that i believe senate bill 744 includes many painful lessons learned from the past. the 1986 law had aumber issues, and for one thing the legalization program did not cover everyone, so there remained a large undocumented population afterward. it to not include changes to legal immigration to address our future needs. both of these omissions that credit to the growth of the undocumented population since that time, and i think, third, it is enforcement measures were not strong enough, but as i noted in my written testimony the enforcement system we have in place is by several orders of magnitude much stronger than anything in place or even contemplated in the 1986 act. by combining income -- a legalization process that leads to citizenship with a modern
immigration system and accountability for employers, which will have immigrants that are here legally. the future will be here legally. ou goals for the sentiment and that is to have a system that reflects our guys as a nation of immigrants and as a nation of law. my favorite section from the bible is the beatitudes, and i say blessed are the peacemakers, and i hope we can find peace in our common goals around immigration reform. >> mr. chairman, may i ask you exercise your discretion and ask one more question. i got so involved, i meant to ask you a question. welcome. we're glad you're here. i know you care deeply about the people you come into contact with, and i believe how justice and compassion are not incompatible with the rule of law. i think it enhances our ability
to demonstrate justice and compassion when we operate within a legal framework, and that is what we are trying to do here, at least i believe that. hah a and there is a provision th allows somebody who has ofmitted multiple offenses domestic violence, of drunk driving, and of child abuse -- it draws a line at two. can do it twice and you're still eligible, but if you do it three times a commit a felony or not. does that cause you get any concern in terms of the welfare of the victim of that drunk driving, the domestic violence, or child abuse? >> thank you. a great question. a lot of people ask that. it caused me some concern and what we have said throughout is citizenshipcate for
to those who qualify. i do not believe everybody will qualify or shoifuld qu sawh exact and expressedte to qualification should be, but i recognize that is an important issue. i would be uncomfortable with multiple and fences, felonies. there have to be some line to where we are allowing those who are going to be productive, tax- paying, great neighbors, and those who either are by lack of attention or intention cause us harm. there has to be in line. >> thank you. franken.r >> i am very glad to see you here, dr. fleming. a lot of minnesotans the support reform see it as an
issue of fate. at this point, i would like to enter into the record a list of minnesotaps one state groups who support immigration reform. if you look through this list you will see lutherans and muslims and catholics, jews, episcopalians, methodists, you name that, unitarians. thank you. a lot of minnesotans not just think it is a smart thing to do. ,hey think this is the right morally right thing to do. the bill will make e-rarefy mandatory for all employers within five years. unfortunately, the last independent of this system revealed that it wrongly rejected legal workers about one
out of every 140 times. it does not sound that high, but it would not be acceptable for , ar edit card ng your car, and i were about how this will suspect minnesota's businesses, small businesses, who did not have a large human resources department. in february, the american immigration lawyers association issued a press release highlighting these problems saying any mandatory employment verification system should protect the interests of small businesses and provide mechanisms to suspend their roll-out of the employment verification program, if patterns of errors develop. can you tell us why these
recommendations were made and if they continue to stand by them? >> thank you. we continue to stand by those coendationsanit is because this is not an issue just for the employer. it is for the entire workforce. it could be an issue for that person who is applying for the job, and because the paper work does not clear, you have gone on to the next individual. now that individual is out there hitting the streets looking for another job. it sounds like a small percentage, but we are talking about tens of thousands of people who are wrongfully, tentatively non-confirmed, told ey are not eligible to go forward with employment. in terms of what the best metrics would be, i think we have a good chance here to look at slowing this down potentially to see if there are ways to evaluate whether we are
having a high number of errors. there needs to be some method for reporting and correcting those trade let's not lose sight of the fact that this sortf additional regulation facing smal bess has a disproportionate effect costing small businesses twice or nearly three times as much as it does a larger corporation to institute e-verify and go through these checks. >> thank you. in 2007, the national council of la raza released a study on the impact on children. more study revealed immigration raids often left children abandoned without anyone to care for them. the study'se description. in one case a youth spent several days alone because both parents were arrested. in one household, three
adolescents were left to fend for themselves after but parents were detained. neighbors provided oiona supe people only found out about this case is because the youths subsequently showed up for the assistance. another adolescent that months and the care of a pastor in a church where their parents to worship. there are cases like this all across the country. after a 2000 raid in minnesota, a second-grader came from home from school to fight his mother and father missing, and his two- year-old brother alone. for the next week this child stayed home from school to take care of his brother. after a 2008 raid in iowa, and local newspaper reported that children went as long as 72 hours without seeing their parents, not knowing or understanding where they were. thankfully, the days of massive immigration rates are over, but
in the past two years, over 200,000 parents of citizen children were deported. o have a bill that i pl offe aamendment to the immigration bill we are now debating. it will institutes of basic humanitarian protections for children during immigration enforcement actions and during the detention of their parents. murgiuia, do you think we need to protect more of our children? >> i do, and i appreciate you highlighting the report which i think was eye opening for many people, because i think when you hear about the impact of these deportations and as a result of our broken immigration system, which are not talking about individuals, not just about families, but communities that really are devastated by this broken system. the fact that i could not even articulate for you the pain and
suffering that has occurred across this country as a result at those raids and the ca continues is for me not consistent with the values we have as americans in this country. there is a better way for us to do it. this compromise offers us a eight path to get to that kind of a more rational and sane in humane resolution on this. i appreciate you highlighting there is real pain being infected and this is not just six. these are families that have been devastated, communities, and to their credit, many people in the fake-based community have stepped up to fill in where we ought to understand that there are collateral costs that are to be paid in this. >> thank you. mr chairman, thank you.l of you. , thank you. i want to thank all the
witnesses for joining us today. as we started this discussion i was reminded of the words of stephen covey, an author who used to tell people to think when, when. by a charactered on a sitcom. want to thank ms. lichter to say win, win, win, win. the point of this discussion is how we can find a way to make a difficult situation better, and i hope through this legislation or other form of that we can get to a point where we improved our legal immigration system. we are a nation of immigrants. for that to work effectively, we have to have an effective front doorhrgh which immigrato countrd
into this country under the terms of our law. there is a lot in this bill to be praised in this regard. there are some things that concern me. i would like to discuss a couple the gentleman. a couple things you mentioned at my attention. one of them dealing with your assertion that the part of u.n. therity may have been -- department of homeland security they have been shaping the removal numbers. can you speak more of the suspect activity of changes that cannot meritor such that the overall ratio can be manipulated. >> one point is you put them in an impossible position, does you can never know the denominator of people we missed because we miss them and we probably did not have surveillance of than.
it is almost impossible, and my second point is if you are born to force them to come up with this number, this effected the thresher, should we trust them? based on the reporting of the last two years, there are reasons to consider perhaps not, and that isreatly fiscal year 22 saw a record number of removals from the united states. it turns out that about 86,000 of that number we have learned because of evidence disclosed in roceedings fall under the -- program. these are aliens who have been previously returned at the border. they were not counted as removals. they have been taking these individuals and saying let's transport them a few hundred miles down the border, and then
return them there so they have a harder time reconnecting with a smuggling network. we will count that as your mobil, because ice touched believe for a few hours during the process of helping the transport. now we have voluntary returns with a transit in place being counted as a removal, and t .flatiss x. pecef removal operations have seen a massive decrease in the last four years. part of the problem is not that you should not be able to cut that figure, because those result from efforts of dhs, the fact that it was changed compared to prior -- >> was never would have been counted before. so you calculate all the alien turnarounds', removals, and everything and look at about from ice and border control
combined, and you see a decrease. some will say that is because fewer people are attempting to come in. the point being the numbers are being manipulated in a misleading manner. the present said misleading when he was talking to reporters about these removal numbers, and he said it is not really like. myoilde your point have metrics and triggers, pick something that is a very hard number, maybe miles of fence constructed or specific numbers as opposed to these very fuzzy percentages and success factors that this bill contemplates. >> it is possible to identify metrics that would do that. to improve this bill, you would pose something that is less subjective? >> absolutely, but there are not that many. one is miles of fence. that is verifiable. when you talk about operational
control, that is one of those fuzzy factors that it is impossible to define. >> do they really called those voluntary robles? >> voluntary returns. >> i suspect those people would not think of those as voluntary. voluntary might be a misnomer. toperhaps we can get back the sporadic or intermittent stated, but my time is expired. thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> [indiscernible] >> thank you. i want to start by thanking the bipartisan group of eight senators who were so many months and all the different groups and individuals who brought forth their stories to help shape this bill and a staff. i think this bill is a vital
step in moving our country away from our current outdated and an equal an unjust system to one that will work and work in a way is behind american values. there are ma aspects of this bill that are encouraging. f the concerns of dreamers, dramatically reducing backlogs, dealing fairly with those refugees seeking asylum. coming with a system that is keeping highly talented individuals who have been educated in this country here to contribute. like others who of spoken, there is work to be done, additional due process protections, assuring all families are equally valued in this bill and investing in education for u.s. nationals to address the skills gap over the long term. there are a number of areas we can work on together.
i appreciate the chair mount's commitment to have an open process and a length to which this panel has addressed itself to date. i thank you for your testimony. it is a reminder of the individual stories that make i am interested in hearing you speak specifically to the need for appointed counsel or an expanded legal orientation program. detainees areof unrepresented in any way, even if they are sick children, or if they are mentally incompetent. the absence work counsel for , it makes it harder for immigration judges to do their job. i would be interested if you would speak your experience representing individuals that have been deemed aggravated
felonies for those limited purpose of the immigration law. >> thank you, senator. you have hit upon probably the dirtiest little secret of our immigration proceedings, which is that this is one of the most complicated areas of law one can practice. it form in which we willingly pro people the down have a sophisticated legal background. they might not even speak english. most of them do not have legal counsel. legalistence legal -- of orientation programs, where we advise people as to very general, broad terms, for example why they are detained or what avenues there might be, have been extremely successful, not only in promoting what would system of justice and
fairness of the immigration laws, but there is an efficiency here as well. if we can explain to an individual that because of their history, they simply do not have any relief in from the immigration court, that case can be moved on very quickly. the legal orientation programs themselves have been resnsible for a specific amount of savings in terms of processing in general. that also in this context, we have individuals coming to removal proceedings only because they have old, minor crimes. when we hear the words aggravated felony, most of us think that sounds bad, but what it really means in immigration is something else. it can involve something for which the individual never spent a day in jail, the person was
not in physical harm. it could be something 20, 30, 40 years old, people facing removal proceedings for crimes that are that long ago in the past. unfortunately the system we have currently does not provide any path out of removal for those individuals but for extreme cases where there might be facing persecution if they were to return home. >> you have spoken about the potential economic benefits as well as the moral imperative to establish a path to citizenship and a possible benefit to our economy. if you would just talk further about that, and about this bill as a compromise. can you help us understand what happened if the hurdle to earn legal status is too high for a significant number of those currently here, what with the consequences be? a i would just reiterate
piece on the economic impact. even on friday this committee heard that there would be an overall net gain to our economy by moving forward with the comprehensive immigration reform bill to the tune of $1.50 trillion ovecadede weatn addition, there uld be billions added in terms of earned wages. so we do see this as a net gain. i will tell you that as we look at the legalization right now, we see this path to citizenship that has been put forward, i think for us, the fact that we can build on that as a way to move forward is really important because it is essential. what i mentioned earlier was that we do have some questions with the costliness fees and provisions. what we want to make sure we are doing is that we are not
undermining our very goal of achieving legalization and citizenship by creating some of these barriers which could be the length of time or the fees, that there will be several fees. int, w i want to learn english. sure theo make supports are there for them to be able to have access to english classes and to the citizenship classes, which in the past has been a problem. we are encouraged by what we see here, but all those pieces are not in place, and if there is not attention to the potentially high cost and length of time, we could undermine our very goal of seeing that citizenship become a reality. >> thank you. >> i want to burst join in thinking center schumer -- first
joined in banking center schumer and those who have joined, i hate to call them a gang, who have produced such a very -- aning an end portage solution to a topic that isensus think it's probably the most important, among the most important that we face today, and will determine the amount of our children and grandchildren, and i would be very proud to vote for immigration reform. i don't know that it will be exactly the bill that has been proposed, and i want to thank this panel and others that have been here before and will be here after for making the suggestions they do, but i think we can be a better america, just for, freer, and more productive, if we bring those 11 million people out of the shadows, and do the background checks. we may figure out better ways to
do that rejected the them. i am a law enforcement died, and i believe that background checks can always be improved, but they will make us safer, and enlisting in recruiting those 11 millio people in a pass to earned citizenship i think will be good for them. i don't know whether you have spent a lot of time with the dreamers, but i sort of think the dreamers are ground zero. they are the basic, who could be against giving these people citizenship? i have spent a lot of time with them. i have come to know them. i try to go to the floor whenever i can with pictures of them and their stories, so that people understand who they are.
let me begin by asking, what is your position on people who are born here whose parents are here illegally? should they be u.s. citizens? l andnted the longrent practic, practiced the executive branch has had for many administrations, they are treated as u.s. citizens. >> and i take you would oppose that policy echo >> a number bills have been introduced in some of them have some merit, that would say that for example born and atn is least one of his parents is either green card holder or u.s. citizen, that would be true to the intent of what the writers --the 14th amendment
>> don't you, in your opposition to dreamers' having eventually this expedited path to citizenship, have to oppose the anybody who is born here whose parents are here illegally being denied citizenship and having to go to the back of the line? they are really no different in terms of their intense, their basic circumstances, than someone who is brout here by their parents without any choice on their part. >> i don't think you have to. one does not necessarily imply the other. there are a lot of reasons in the way we define citizenship is simple and easy, so there are lots of balances on both sides of that question. proposals in congress to define more narrowly you would have access to instant natural born citizenship may be more consistent with the framers of
what the 14th amendment meant by that. what does not necessarily imply the other. -- one does not necessarily imply the other. the process of determining citizenship is more difficult than if you have to obtain other verification. >> let me suggest to you, becaus time will shortly expire, i think the benefits of setting definitions that serve the national interest of having those people who are brought here without any choice of their own, much like they are born here without choosing to be, are very much the same, and the dreamers who are contributing to this country, are in school, serving in the military, if anything in terms of equity are in a better position in deserving that kind of treatment of being given a path to expedited citizenship. >> one very brief response.
passed versions of the dream act have included an upper age limit. the closer you get to some who is actually a minor, you can say that person is not responsible for his or her actions, think we would all agree. a person who is 40 could say i am areamer ty have to e >> with an age limit, you would not oppose it. >> my point is, this one does not have any age limit, so it makes it less tolerable, the more open ended is. i think most people would agree if you don't put an upper age limit on it, that is extremely problematic. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i guess i would just ask one question here, since i have not had a chance. by one question is, the organization, the center for
immigration studies, i just want to clarify. you advocate lower levels for both illegal and legal immigration, is that correct? immigration,all yes. >> but you would want the legal lo ered as well. >> y. >> ok, so when some on the other side say i am not for illegal immigration but i want to have more legal immigration, that would not be your position? >> no, but the first priority has to be to regain control of the system, because if we don't enforce the law, it doesn't matter what the laws are. in a sense, it is almost a second priority issue. it has to come after week regained control. >> you may not tnk w have done it effectively enough, but that is our goal as well. i have always said americans will be fair and common-sense towards illegal immigration,
the 11 million here who are in the shadows, provided they believe there will not be waves of future immigration. with him to do that in our bill, saying we don't need to mark. let me call up the next panel and thank this panel for their comments and expertise, thank my colleagues for their good questions, and we will move on to the next panel. >> do you want to sit here?
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everybody on the .ist the first witness third three terms as utah attorney general, currently a partner at dalton sanders in washington d.c.
schumer, thank senator who spent so much time on this and has also filled in to tear it, and senator bourbon, -- senator different on so many committees, they all seem to meet at the same time. is an honor to be here today at these historic hearings. i am pleased to see there are four former attorneys general, two of my mentors, senator blumenthal and senator corpsmen. it is a pleasure to be with you today. .- senator corbin a few short months ago, i dedicated and committed my life to public safety and law
enforcement at unthankful for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the criminal-justice system on the issue of comprehensive immigration reform. i am a student of history and i love what the founders said when they wanted to form a more perfect union. the first two things i want to do to establish justice, which was obviously all about equal access chemical opportunity, and to ensure domestic tranquillity, both what law enforcement and criminal justice system or about. i believe that is what this proposed bill does. having been a longtime republican advocate, i applaud the sponsors and this committee for moving so quickly with a strong, bipartisan purpose in holding these hearings and moving forward on this. from my experience on the ground at the state and local level, dealing with the impact of or broken system is where it felt,t ca communy level. it is not only a moral
imperative of this committee and this senate in this country to move forward with the brokerage reforms, but it also demonstrates what is best about america. that is the ability to pull together for the good of the whole. to enhance national security and local public safety. not just the provisions about increased border security do that, but the entire bill is about fixing the system in order to reduce illegal immigration, so that by modernizing our system, making legality and accountability are top party, our government can take control in making immigration once again work for america. i would like to introduce to letters that have already been sent to committee. one is the official position of the national association of attorneys general. i am also pleased to have worked with a couple of my former
grant woods and terry goddard, and 76 other former attorneys general. a letter dated april 21, also in support of the comprehensive gratn bill. beginning in 2010, the state's have tried to respond to the lack of comprehensive reform congress. the state of utah was concerned about the huge negative public safety implications of state-by- state enforcement only, drive them out, self deportation. we knew that was coming to utah and we want to do something different. we need to get together with other groups and in this case, law enforcement put us together with those who carry bibles, members of the faith communities as well as chambers of commerce .nd business communities
we did something extraordinary in utah. we cam together and ss something called the utah compaq, which will help support a different approach in the state of utah. and to oppose these negative aspects. we decided to focus our law enforcement efforts on going after true criminals, those who were in our country illegally to commit other crimes. drugs, guns, human trafficking, and all these other things. we found that over 9% or confidential informants were otherwise undocumented, otherwise law-abiding members of our community. woulderstood that this terribly impact our ability to work together as a cohesive community with undocumented residents to go after the worst
of the worst. we brought those groups together, are republican majority in the house and senate in utah passed comprehensive reform. they were threatened, told by some of the group's to have been on these panels today that they wobe kicd out of office, a republican conventions and primies. the truth of the matter was, they stepped up and did the and they were reelected. they did the right thing for the right reason and the people of utah recognize, and i believe the people in this country will do so as well. there's much to be said about what this bill does, but our point is that we believe in law enforcement as the best defense is a strong offense. there are so many provisions in this bill that would encourage or discourage illegal immigration, it would create the first choice in those who want to come to this country to work, to benefit their own lives and benefit this great country. that is to choose a pathway that
is correct and legal. all those other provisions in this law are those that help with regard to a stronger border. >> thank you very much. the fmemayoof denver, colorado, currently serves as president and ceo of the hispanic chamber of commerce of metro denver. good to have you here, mr. mayor. >> thank you, mr. chairman, members of the committee. to there to lend support border security economic maturity. -- economic we send our present supports to our neighbors in texas and massachusetts and in solidarity with and with american that you try to make a better bet for your kitty. and the president and ceo of the hispanic chamber of commerce metro denver, an organization of
over 2000 business members. although i represent the business community today, i bring over 36 years experience as a public servant that culminated as my experience as the first re of the city and county of denver. at the age of 10 i was sent by my parents to the united states with my two brothers as part of a program called operation peter pan that sent 14,000 cuban children to this country and accompanied by their parents to escape from castro's cuba. for this reason, my testimony today is reading everything i am, everything i have, everything i have ever represented. that was the direct result of the door i was able to walk through when i first stepped onto american soil. my personal story represents grtruths about this country. first, that anyone, regardless of the most humble beginnings, can become anything they set their mind to, like the mayor of
a large city, or perhaps even greater. 52 years ago i write into this country and was sent to live -- our arrived in this country and was sent to live in an orphanage olor many nights i cried myself to sleep and ask the merciful god to take my life and spare me from the great sorw i was experiencing. yet here i am today in front of you, the senate judiciary committee. it is a wonderful testimony to this country. the second true that my story represents is that immigrants make positive contributions to the success of this country daily, especially when they can live out of the shadows, as i have been able to do. you know that over 40% of fortune 500 companies were started by immigrants and their children? immigrants built america. desperationping the of poverty or to free ourselves from the oppressive regimes that violated our human rights. we came in search of education
opportunity period which shows a new destiny, the united states of america, a beacon of hope and promise of a broader future. a place where we can live in freedom and contribute to the success of our families and communities. unfortunately, over the on coppin and theof immigration reform have resulted in a dysfunctional system that i believe has confiscated the respect we once held for immigrants and replaced it with fear and ignorance that has demonize these individuals to the point that they are looked down upon as human throwaways. there are many business reasons to improve our system and why we are encouraged by the bipartisan effort that emerged to crack this legislation. after all my years in government developing public policy, i know that no legislation will ever be perfect and up to satisfy every nuance from all political side. hopefully we can agree on one thing, fixing our immigration system will contribute to the greater good of our country.
given a clear set of rules and realistic timeline, providing legal status and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already here so they may openly contribute to our society, keeping families together, broht -- providing immigrant children stable home and their own opportunity at the american dream. this comprehensive immigration reform will bring people out of the shadows, which is a good thing, provide a skilled and educated work force that will grow our economy, in spite innovation that will create more business is -- in fight innovation, bring in new , bring out into the open a new group of consumers that will spur new business growth. my parents made a courageous sacrifice and sending their children to this country, and i am better for it. my life it's been filled with hope, opportunity, many, and purpose. i am fulfilling their american
dream for me. the america i was sent to as a child would never have tolerated the things i've seen as mayor of a large city. where many immigrants must live with -- in fear of being deported or separated from their families were having their wages stolen by deceitful employer, o having no legal recourse when crimes are committed against them. i ask you to support comprehensive immigration reform. let's right now that like that america has always proudly displayed to the rest of the world -- let's brighten that light. >> the next witness is the principal 911 security associate. >> think so much for having me here today. i appreciate very much this committee's continued interest in reform d cung our borders and protecting our national security. i further appreciate being back committee a was a
privileged to staff. on illegal immigration side, in light of the boston terrorist attack, we are reminded once more that border security is essential to national security. program wasesty fraudulently used to establish residency. waskey for each of them that simply applying for the benefits allow them to invest long enough to commit the terrorist act. today's bill will not be that much different from the 1986 bill. show the system is not much better now at preventing terrorist that it was in 1986. 19-year-old dzhokhar tsarnaev just received his natural
citizenship just a few months ago. less well known, a syrian known deeply affiliated with the 9/11 attackers was recently granted asylum on his third attempt, despite federal law enforcement reopeng the case. .hill probm is big the southwest border is far from secure. we are seeing a huge surge in illegal crossings with the texas border patrol saying is looking witnessing an increase in illegal crossings from august of this year to november. here is the issue. there is no way that illegal entrants who have never encountered our immigration our criminal system can be vetted as who they say they are. with up to 20,000 foreign-born terrorist known to reside in the
u.s., it creates a serious concern for more terrorists to embed here illegally. there are problems with border security triggered as well. overall the concept of a comprehensive southern border strategy is really useful, but sends the homeland security secretary is not required to assure border security, it doesn't really help us ensure that our borders are indeed more secure. demetric used in the bill to determine the 90% effectiveness rate depends on a 100% detection rate, which is not even close to being able to occur today. if there is not 100% detection, than the 9% rate is going to be inaccurate. unfortunately, demetric fails.
the metric scales. .- fails the bill's version of a mandatory e-verify those no consequences for illegal aliens who fail. levels three more review to non confirmation. the practical result is that this process creates a difficult atmosphere for the employer to terminate an employee, even when the ground for authorization do not exist. in terms of the exit system requirement, this nation needs to fulfill the mandate to create a comprehensive exit system. it failed to include the largest volume of crossings, which is at land borders.
six prior inconsistent exit laws have already complicated the exit requirement and we do not need another one. second, just a few weeks ago, congressional appropriators use their purse strings wisely to realign exit -- owning exit implementation maye ga changer to get the program done, because not only does cbp need that exit data but its sister agency and ice sheets battered data as well. thank you so much for the opportunity to testify and i am happy to receive your questions. >> good ano.irma members of the commiee like to y
thankinghe sens hi committee who have met with the express concerns for law enforcement officers and the needs of law enforcement officers in particular. ranking member grassley, thank you. americans should understand that this legislation only guarantees legal status for illegal aliens. it contains no promise of solving our nation's immigration problems, no guarantee of strong reinforcement on our nation's interior or its borders. it ignores the problems that have doomed our current immigration system to failure. i testified today without having the opportunity to read this bill in its entirety as the gang of eight rushes to pass this bill denies their fellow americans the time and means of effectively studying the bill and adding input. this legislation was crafted behind closed doors with big business, unions, and groups representing illegalens, groups with theirwn interest,
grou that make frothis legislation. anyone with a significantly different opinion on immigration reform was prohibited by the gang of eight from having input. lawmaking in our nation has indeed taken a strange twist, as senators and by illegal aliens to testify before congress and groups representing the interest of illegal aliens are brought into the development of our nation's laws, and american citizens working and what -- working as law-enforcement offices within our nation's broken immigration system are purposely and excluded from the process and prohibited from providing input. last week, desperate to be heard, border sheriff's, interior sheriff, deputies and immigration agents all came to washington d.c. with the hope that the gang of eight would eld two meetings on two separate days. not one member of the gang of eight attended. last week and i respectfully ask
the question at the press conference, i was escorted out by police and senate staff. i was open to with anger and disrespect. never before -- was spoken to with anger and disrespect. never before have i seen such contempt for law enforcement officers as i've seen from the gang of eight. suffice it to say, following the boston terrorist attack, i was appalled to hear the gang of a telling america that its legislation is what american law enforcement needs. since 2008, president obama has ignored many of the immigration laws enacted by congress and has instead created his own immigration system that unlawfully provides protections for millions of illegal aliens. has done, congress nothing to stop the president, and i submit to everyone that america will never have an
gration system as ng as presidents and their appointees are permitted to ignore the u.s. congress and pick and choose the laws they will enforce, and indeed, in actor own laws without congress through agency policy. this bill does nothing to address these problems. in fact, unbelievably, it gives far greater authority and control to the president and the secretary of dhs. exactly the opposite of what our country needs to create a consistent and effective immigration system. if the laws enacted by congress are not enforced by the executive, america has the promise of future enforcement. that much is certain. immigration agents have fought a lawsuit against dhs because both have in -- fused toor immigration laws enacted by congress. cannot indivfor entering the s
illegally or overstaying pieces. agents are prohibited from enforcing laws regarding fraudulent documents and identity theft. agents are not permitted to wrest public charges. they are forced to apply the obama dream act, not to children in schools, but to adult inmates in jail, releasing criminals back into the community, criminals who have committed felonies, assault officers, and who prey on children. i it -- ice deportation numbers have plummeted since 2008, evidence that enforcement has a large part been shut down. in closing, my initial representative -- opinion of this bill is that in large part it appears to have a lot of loopholes, everything from gang activity to the arrest record to criminal backgrounds and fraudulent activities, that many
levels are accessible under this bill. was inry exit system effective yesterday. we already know that aliens are engaged in illegal activities that will bypass the system. americans expected a stronger enforcement across the board that would prevent another wave of illegal immigration. unfortunately in terms of enforcement and providing for public safety, i think this bill is going to fall short in terms of legalization and eventual citizenship for 11 million illegal aliens, i think this excess is guaranteed. thank you, that concludes my testimony. youocus on the fiscal and economic impac of immigratio is that correct eco >> i would like to thank the committee
providing me. i am going to focus on the fiscal side of things with some mention of the economic. in the modern american economy, those with relatively little education, immigrant or native, earn modest wages on average, and by design, pay modest taxes. there lower-income also means out and benefit from welfare and other means tested programs. as a result, the less educated in general and the emirate or native, they use more in services than they pay in taxes. there's simply no question about this basic point. relationship between educational attainment and that fiscal impact is the key to understanding the fiscal impact of immigrants. the national research council estimated in 1996 that immigrants will ride -- will use $89,000 more in services than he pays in taxes during his lifetime.
if you just that for inflation, it would be much bigger now. for an immigrant who comes with only high school education, the net fiscal drain is $31,000. in the case of illegal immigrts, thvaoritaj modest levels of education, averaging only about 10 years of schooling. reasonct is the primary illegal immigrants are a fiscal drain, not their legal status. i own research indicates that we illegallegalize immigrants and they began to use services and pay taxes, the net fiscal costs would roughly tripled because they remain unskilled. the figure to my left here illustrates the strong relationship between fiscal impact and education. the figure shows self reporting,
use of major welfare programs and tax liability for immigrant households from 2011 census bureau data. 59% of households headed by immigrants who don't have a high school education used one or more major welfare programs. 70% of those same households have no federal income tax liability. since roughly 75% of illegal immigrants either have no high school education or only a high- school education, but chart illustrates what is so problematic about illegal immigration from a fiscal point of view. it is worth pointing out that less educated natives also have high rates of welfare use. it's also worth pointing out of immigrant headed households using welfare, 86% had at least
one worker. these figures are not the result of a lack of work. rather, they reflect educational attainment and resultant low incomes anw x payments and thus eligibility. advocates of amnesty have to man responses to the situation. first they argue welfare and other programs use by u.s.-born children living in immigrant households should not count. that makes little sense because the child is here as a direct result of their parents having been allowed into the country. the national research council's statistics did not include the children, it was only for the original immigrants, and they still found a large net fiscal drain for less educated pulse. immigration creates a wonderful benefits for the economy that offsets the fiscal costs, but the national research council
estimated both the fiscal effect and the economic effect and down that the fiscal drain for immigrant households was larger than the tiny economic benefit that we got from integration. immigratn kes the economy larger, significantly larger, but it doesn't make americans richer. it does not increase the per capita income of natives. advocates for the end is the response that the national research council and the academic research is wrong. a study was conditioned a few years back using a model to estimate the impact of trade. they found the economic benefits were bigger, but it is not an all clear that that model applies to immigration and they largely ignored tua physical characteristics of immigrants, like their use of social services. douglas holtz-eakin argued that
population growth would be a big alsomic benefits, but he ignores the academic literature and the development literature that looked at the impact of -- it does not show a big benefit. he never mentions in his paper the impact of legalizing illegal immigrants. >> thank you. one more sentence. >> if we decide to go ahead with this, we have to be honest with the american people and make it clear it comes with very large fiscal costs. , you havenorquist been here waiting patiently y. >> thank you. people are an asset, not a liability. america is the richest country
in the world and also the most emmerich friendly country in the world. it is our history and what we have proved again and again. those of us who would change our history and would make us less immigrant friendly would also make us less successful, less prosperous, and certainly less american. i am delighted that at a time when pplabt washington not being able to get something done in come together, we have seen a lot of movement on this issue. the reagan republican movement understands the need to come to legal status for those who are here. we have seen the business community go to a strong boat to strong- advocacy. -- go to strong advocacy. church, the roman catholic church, the jewish
communities all moving in this direction. this is a real opportunity for congress to get together and make progress. however you look at that, it is important that we use dynamic scoring would ask how we handle some of the statistics. people want to look at cost and not benefits. asme here and accumulate stills -- accumulate .kills, ask yourself imagine what would happen to your siblings are your children if somebody said go out in the world and do the best you can, but no driver's license. do the best you can, but don't get on a plane. you live in fear that when you do an interview, that you might miss the point at the end of the interview.
common sense tells us that people who can live without that , the immigration reform and have put together has all the protections against bad guys coming in, and this is tremendously helpful. just some increase in the economic health of the country. , by having trillion more people working and paying .axes is not a tax increase it is deficit reduction without a tax increase. i think it is the kind of deficit reduction that we can get bipartisan support for in the country. what about public education?
public schools don't teach children how to read english marry well and don't teach american history. it is being worked on a state- by-state, but that is the problem for kids who are born here as well as everybody else in terms of the quy of ucey getting. bill clinton worked with the republican congress to reform aid to families with dependent children. none of those are arguments for getting in the way of immigration before. then there's the question of entitlement. the entitlement system is out of whack and needs to be reformed. let's reform public education and the welfare system, but let's move forward now on
immigration reform as well. thank you. >> thank you very much. you talked aboutany .mmigrants who are not legal they have no legal recourse when something happens, if they are $20 and youpay you have no legal recourse. my wife is a registered nurse. we were driving near los angeles. a well-dressed person with a large dog was walking down the street. in person who appeared to be it workmans' close and appeared to be hispanic.
as we were driving by -- we turn around and went back is if we could give aid. he had left. the woman d w walking down the street knowing this person could never make any complaint. that has stuck in my mind for years and years. >> if i may add, mr. chairman, people suffer even greater happenstance than that, greater crimes and have no legal recourse to go after the perpetrator. prosecutor and i know those who are afraid to come forward to report rape, battery, or robbery. which meant that the rapist, the robber, the person who committed the battery got away scot-free, and that is wrong.
they are out there thinking they can do that to anybody else, and it is wrong. you addressed this, but some ha said that we cannot afford to reform our broken immigration system because -- i have heard 50 reasons why we cannot do something. to find reasons why we can. do you believe the current proposal before the committee would compound the budget and deficit challenges we all agree we face in this country? >> quite the opposite. first, it is clear that people who have earned legal status are not eligible for many federal benefits for 10 or more years going into the future. so you avoid that. second, they give you plenty of time to reform some of these
programs that need to be reformed and that folks over on the house side have already passed a number of reforms in the rhine budget, but certainly shows that it can be done and i think it will be done. also, when you tell somebody you for work, youook are without papers, you cannot get a license tummy cannot fly, of course it suppresses their wages and makes it more difficult for people to do better. in this case, as we have in the past, you will see tremendous increases. let me go back in history. this argument that people who used with this was the irish, about asians. ca a people who saidec it have always been wrong. >> my father was the brainchild
and had ammigrants very thriving business. my maternal grandfather came from italy and also put together that employed a lot of people in a small town at very good wages. many of us have had law- enforcement backgrounds, and you were attorney general. is it going to help the efforts of state and local law enforcement to combat crime in their communities? >> absolutely. we are very concerned, and i talked to federal and state law enforcement officers all the time. i've created a foundation to treat police officers who are lab from busting meth
withouts proper protection. they see it as support to assist them in their job that they are trying to do. the whole concept of community- based policing that is so critical to success in our communities mandates that people feel safe and able to work with law enforcement and trust that when they are hurt and seeking help, they will have that from their local law enforcement. >> but it is the trust they have to have. have possible we could immigration efforts that might destroy that trust. >> absolutely. we deal with the pragmatics, what is happening on the ground, not the erratics. i have heard no proposal from the other side to suggest anything that will work. everything being done by this law will ins -- incurred those people to come out the darkness, they will not have to steal social security numbers anymore because now they will be realized -- they will be
recognized. toelieve it would be a boon puic safety in this try as well as a moral imperative to go forward. >> thank you very much. >> i would be happy to hand the gavel over to you. handled it over to you on more than one occasion. >> can you top a bit more about the need to include identifiers in the entry-exit system? >> the land borders right now, as we all know, have the largest daily and national, annual crossing rate, much more
so than the air and sea port. oeerts . are difdeal wid that is understandable. but they need to be included because people can come in by air and sea and leave by land and we still on how the data that we need. the biometric piece of this is something that the 9/11 commission was very insistent in. we learn on our findings and all my subsequent work with terrorist identities that one of the best ways to determine a terrorist that nt is through biometrics, because they often change their name and change their identity. without that biometric component, you will not involve national security to the height that it can be. by a graphic is very helpful. it gets us part of the way and
is a good first step. that is what the appropriators just did when they moved exit over to ctoms and border protection. biometrics would be very helpful to have down the road if you really want to try to ensure national security. >> in my opening statement i talked about how the bill does not necessarily require the border to be secured before those here illegally are provided legal status or even citizenship. is that your reading of the bill? >> yes, senator, it is. my comments, i tried to point out that we currently have a situation where the secretary of dhs and the president of the united states do whatever they want to do. theyignore the laws, manipulate data. all of these things that are critical to making sure that there is some kind of system of integrity in place, ought to monitor what dhs and ice are
doing down there. none of those things are going to happen, and all we have to do is look at what is happening right now,evest, we can see right now this is not going to happen. norquist, you know i agree with you most of the time. i am surprised to hear you backing a bill that has emergency spending in it. kemp-ronaldck reagan republican and i think this is the bill that will spur economic growth, give people more opportunities to make the economy stronger. thinkhat others it is a positive. the government is going to get a
whole bunch of revenue from people who have not been paying taxes. there are fees involved, not exactly an amnesty, as some peop like toay for keep saying it again shock value. it's just not true. when we had the 55-mile an hour speed limit, there was a lot of illegal driving going on. we decide to come up with a reasonable speed limit and then enforce it. if we gave amnesty to all those people who had been illegally amnesty, icertainly think we should move forward. let's get these people to continue working in the light of day so they are protected from any abuse.
let's get control of the border. that is what this does in addition proving our immigration policy. we have high tech workers that do come here. they go to other countries and compete with us. we need more people on farms. ranchers, dairy, farmers. i do not think it is robust enough with guest workers. i would like to see more, but this is progress. >> your statement mentioned terrorists taking advantage of our system and how some have applied and received asylum and how the bill has allowed people under the legalization system, do you know how many people fall into that category? how does the bill make the current speak -- current system weaker? >> i do outlined in my written testimony a number of pages of terrorists who have taken
advantage of asylum. most notably the case of the few o ha been herein 9/11 but did who was known to help materially those hijackers. his immigration and asylum went three times before the judge. federal law enforcement officers tried to reopen the case and the judge considered it final. i don't see the bill changing it very much at all for helping this system that is in place right now make it more secure. it is just not there, senator. >> [inaudible] very much, senator schumer. thank you to all of you.
as you're focusing on the economic advantages of this bill, which people do not always think about first h wha you see as the biggest benefits to this bill? >> the first thing that we seldom talk about is we need the work force. even if we hire all of the americans, we would be short of that work force and they needed. i also think that immigrants tend to bring new ideas, new entrepreneurialism. 60% of small businesses in colorado are hispanic owned. if we talk about small business being job creators, this will certainly create jobs. i think that in addition we will have new consumers, folks who can apply for home mortgages, by cars and do the kinds of things that spur business growth in this country. i think that there is many benefits to that. in addition the tax revenue and
fee revenue, certainly as the mayor of a large city we are always short on governmental services and this will t nd those services and strengthen the government. >> our state is second per- capita for fortune 500 companies and one interesting fact is that 90 of them are headed up by immigrants, to reinforce your view that not only small businesses, but big businesses are kids of immigrants. people have to understand that this is more than just about legalizing people and bringing them in, it is the job it will create in our own country. you are also a fan of the visa for four and entrepreneurs. entrepreneurs. >> i think we should welcome that. we compete in a global economy
and it would certainly be to our economic advantage. >> thank you. mr. norquist, welcome. i was teasing you that we welcome you for your bipartisan debut, but duties before that you had testified an evening out the penalties for crack cocaine. this is what happens when you get involved in a bipartisan effort. the thing i wanted to ask you about was the h1b cap. do you see it improving the employment based immigration generally? we want american companies to add jobs here. >> look, we need to increase the cap. it is not high enough. within days it was reached this thes ontd the american firms would like to hire to bring here to work to create additional jobs,
from silicon valley to all 50 states. these are people that come and create other jobs for themselves and other people. the number should be higher. it has increased in this legislation and it is an important step. i think that it should be increased more than in this legislation, but this is a real opportunity. it allows people to come here to create jobs. theseeo bght, hard- working, they will be working somewhere else. canada,ther countries, no one should be stuck in canada. it is not fair. >> come on, i can see canada from my porch. >> a foreign policy expert? this is an opportunity to allow these people to come to the united states and work here and raising that visa is an important part of why this is a pro-growth policy. que from president reaganth a
farewell address wherebee ing cn the hill and said that if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors, the doors were open to anyone with the will and hard to get here. this is a good reminder that we have to keep working on this bill and i would wonder if you wanted to comment as to why that was meaningful to you in this context. >> the jack kemp republican position has always been immigrant welcoming. you see this coming stronger both from the business community and from the religious community, communities of faith. i was in a meeting with the head of the republican party in 2000. 10 major trade associations, i was there as the taxpayer guy. they went around the table about what is important. they said do something bad to
trial lawyers, capitains between thos project and that the and the chair said thank you very much and got up to leave and a gentleman from the chamber said it -- like they do in colombo, in the last minutes. he said there is this other thing. what is it. how do i bring it up? we never mention it. what is it? we are running out of workers, the economy is growing. everyone around that table, from the truckers to the restaurant jurors to the retail people said that that is a bigger issue for us than the stuff we talked about. the business community did not talk about it for years. they are talking about it again and are for -- focus on reforming those visas. all of those things are steps in the right direction. this is real stimulus. this should be the best thing that the house and the president
could do for the economy and deficit reduction and it should be high priority. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate my friend senator sessions letting me go next. you were very much involved with the 9/11 commission, correct? >> yes, sir. >> i seem to recall that at least six of the 9/11 hijackers came into the country legally but overstay their visas. in other words they were part of that 40% today of illegal immigration that occurs when people come in legally but overstay. is that a major concern of the 9/11 commission? >> i and my findings most of the hijackers were extremely hard to stay within their legal time crime -- timeframe.
the muscle hijackers, basically and june of 20 stay within the six months that they had. it was only once where they came in and were given a business visa of two weeks and was an overstay. the overstay issue, like the land borders, were not the big issue for the commission. they did become part of the story. when they became a part of the story is when we insisted on looking at it -- looking at a pattern of terrorism and how they use the system. we realize there was a pattern of terrorist travel and we asked to look beyond that. that is when we saw the other issues. i did aor bseqntly on 94 terrorists and how they managed to assimilate in this country. the visa overstate was a large
part of it. answer. mr. norquist, there ist of skepticism, you know? about the federal government in general and congress in particular. congressional approval ratings hovered around 15%. it seems to me that the last thing we would want to do is confirm that lack of confidence that many american people have about congress and promised something that we aren't echoing to deliver. i am concerned particularly about the border security elements and the visa overstay element. with 40% of illegal immigration occurring because the people who were here illegally and we are not keeping track of them, i am very concerned about the lack of an exit program on the land based borders, particularly in my state, with its 1,200 miles a
common border with mexico. are youcern at al with border security components of this? out the credibility of it? of which only provides that three out of nine southern border sectors require 90% effectiveness rates in terms of apprehension when in fact we know that's tightening the border in one place, the human smugglers, the drug dealers and others come through less guarded places. is that an important issue? >> look, border security is important to the country and to this bill holding together. in the past the way we dealt with these issues is we had 100,000 people apprehended at the border with mexico and we had a gut worker program put in by eisenhower and it went down to 45,000. as long as the program was
there, people cross legally and not illegally. the most important thing you can do to reduce illegal entry is to have a serus, grown-up, robust guest worker program and a way for people to get here legally to do work that needs to be done with willing employers and workers. you already have to worry about bad guys, not the guys that have to work. >> i agree that if people want to come here to work, having a legal system for them to do so is important, but i do not think that that will deter the drug traffickers and human traffickers. >> but it frees the officers at the borders to think about bad guys rather than the people coming here to work. that is what happened when eisenhower did it. there was a lot of wisdom there, eisenhower had a lot of success.
when the federal government does something well, it would be a good idea to study it,ecause it is kind of rare. >> i had a question about the provisional legislation, and again i am not sure how many of you had a chance to read all the pages, but it does provide that people who have been convicted of multiple domestic violence offenses, drug driving offenses, and child abuse defenses, that they could take advantage of this legalization pathway. would you be concerned about where this line is drawn in terms of whether that should be available to those folks? >> absolutely. some of our local law- enforcement concerns with these state-by-state requirements was the tip away from their responsibility to protect the public from other types of criminals. yes, i am concerned about that.
i think it needso be lood and resolved. this is the opportunity to get rid of those who are law-abiding members of the community. >> the comments from west texas -- i think the president will be there on thursday as part of the memorial service for the first responders. thank you for your kind words. thank you. >> thank you, senator schumer. thank you all on this panel. it has been very thoughtful and worthwhile panel. let me begin where my former colleague, the former attorney general now senator began. norquist,you -- mr. your point is -- it is profound and fundamental, that and a badg a broken system, law or set of laws in the sense that it is irrational and arbitrary is very difficult to
do affectively. in other words, and fcing i for law enforcement to do. >> absolutely. again, the example that many people can remember because most of us do not come into touch with real crime day to day, but when we were all getting busy doing illegal driving because there was a 55 m.p.h. speed limit, we realize that that was an unreasonable law that needed to be reformed. we have a need in this country and can welcome more immigrants legally then we have. this is not a debate about how many immigrants and how welcoming we are going to be. we are losing internationally because we are not allowing the best and brightest to come in here and start these companies somewhere else. of people who were born elsewhere, do you really
want them in other countries? why not here? this is a jobs program that is ouecwt peop munrstand that, do not see it. why we need to focus on the fact that this is our country group. the idea that more people because poorer, that is nonsense. we used to have 3 million people and we lived on farms. we have 300 million people and we are 100 times wealthier. people are an asset. when you hear that there is more oil in north dakota we do not say that is too bad, we said that is good. more people are an asset in a free besought -- free society and we can appreciate our choice of being choosy. >> i appreciate that as well as the contributions, especially amongst the higher skilled people, one of the reasons i am
supporting the legislation thate lead on. >> very important legislation. >> i am proud to welcome my former colleague, mark. thank you for your excellent testimony here today. you're terrific work as a law enforcer, your point is also that it is a broken system and that as a law enforcer, as well as moral imperative, you believe that this kind of reform is necessary. i do not know if you were here for the testimony provided in the prior panel about the supposed possibility of these background checks working. i wonder perhaps if you have an opinion on that point. >> they can certainly work, but we have to deal in pragmatics in
law enforcement. in utah we knew that people were driving without driver's licenses. all over this country. it was imperative knowing that they were there as a public safety measure to make sure that they took the test around a lot. we gave them authorization to dry. had insurance that would cover it if they ran into us. was pragmatic. in fifth grade class is i have taught kids to stay away from gangs, but the gang bangers are telling these kids that you can never succeed, cannot go to college, you cannot work, join the gang. i am telling them that you get to pay your state tuition just like the kid next to you. these are practical solutions that those two are working on. we are able to get those background checks and i think we can do effectively.
>> thank you. your story, mayor, is a very inspiring one. your being here to share it with us is meaningful and i want to thank you particularly for being here. you have a long career in public service and you have done a lot of good work by sharing with us. you make a great point that is often overlooked, which is that people who want to come to america are often among the best and brightest everywhere in the world and they choose to come here because they want that opportunity. when i am feeling down and discourage, and i was feeling pretty discouraged last week for various reasons, not the least of which were the disasters in boston and texas and the vote here gaf i went to an immigratnd naturalization ceremony.
they are just enormously inspiring and uplifting. as you know, people come with tears in their eyes. their families, their friends, it is a tremendous celebration, and high point of their life. your parentsout , ading you to this country huge sacrifice on their part, knowing that it would be great for you as an opportunity, it is very inspiring and i want to thank you for being here today and making that point. >> if i can just respond for a second, i know we hear a lot of bad things about immigrants today, but the overwhelming majority bring with them and iron will to succeed, a tireless and steady work ethic, a tremendous gratitude for being given a second chance in a new couny,ha always triggers in them a tremendous
desire to contribute to this country and i think we have seen that time and again through the generations. >> and they appreciate citizenship in a way that many americans do not. thank you. >> senator sessions? >> thank you. mr. graham, thank you for your leadership. 7000rane represents immigration and customs and enforcement agents, a former marine, you can tell the has the courage of his convictions. voted noimously confidence. because they undermine the ability to enforce law, filing a lawsuit in texas, a lawsuit in fet to tfo them to follow the plan requirements of the law. your criticisms of the president
and this p, your repeated requests over the right to participate in these discussions, to advise and give your opinion on crafting a system that would work, you were denied that and i think you are speaking out and if it is very much important. we certainly have pro-immigrant groups who are very active, pushing, people with a real interest in more workers from the business community. but a lot of those people have to enforce the law and make sure it stays on a sound basis. listen, doctor. i want you to talk with us a bit about the statements that have been made here by others today. immigrantslegal with low education, high-schoolt are legal, do we have data that
shows how they compare to the same cohort of people in the country who are american citizens with the same educational level? what are the implications of that? >> in general the immigrants have read -- relatively high rates of work but high rates of welfare use and low rates of federal income tax liability. as a general proposition the less educated immigrants or native does not come close to paying what they use in services. the heritage foundation estimated about $20,000 per year several years ago. the difference between the least educated pay and use in taxes. you can see that same phenomenon here in my testimony. i have the statistics for less educated natives, in some ways the immigrants of course but the
important point is that the less educated population has this- fiscal impact. if i could just say, i do not think we should see this as some kind of moral failing. rather the way to see it is a reflection of the reality of the u.s. economy, which does not offer much in opportunity to people with less education, including american citizens. >> kids in high school, if they do not get a high-school diploma and even tried to go on further, they have a hard time getting a good paying job in america. therefore when we see to except people legally into the country should we not seek those with education levels that will allow them to be the most successful? >> exactly. u. the dropouts ar. half our legal, half >> social security, medicare,
how will this law, if passed, impact the viability of those programs? social security now has a $7 trillion unfunded liability out there over the next 75 years. what will this do to it? thing to understand about social security is that it is partially redistributed with low income. what this bill does, by allowing the legal immigrants to stay, it adds lots of new claimants on the social security system who are low income. yes, we would hope that their wages would rise with legalization, but it does not change the underlying attainment of the immigrant, which is why it creates negative long-term implications, adding lots of low-income people to that system. you cannot fun but the welfare state and social services with
low-income folks. it is that simple. it does not mean they're bad, evil, that did not work or that they came here to get welfare, but the reality on this chart is that there are very high rates of public use services from the less educated. >> i would say that there are possibilities for us to reach an skilledt on our entrance and immigrants, but this bill does not make sufficient changes in that regard. >> senator reid? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i wanted to thank the witnesses for coming. first wanted to thank my friend, mark. i knew him as a lawyer and a client and a fellow resident of utah. it is a pleasure to have you here. i am very concerned with the near complete discretion that
would be granted to the secretary of homeland security through this bill, especially in connection with the border security provisions in the bill. the certainty that should accompany the border security withers tends to dissolve that -- with the delegation of decision making to an agency that has demonstrated a certain level of disregard for guidance. i should not call it congressional guidance, it is the law. particularly in the field of immigration. many conservatives are generally willing to discuss fundamental reforms so long as those reforms are fond of along a secure border with a renewed commitment
to enforce immigration laws. while this bill does a lot of things that would be good, it does not do nearly enough to establish the foundation. i was looking for ways to reform something, to make it better, but to do that we have to understand what is lacking. to enforce immigration laws. i have some questions to ask about this. mr. crane, from the date of enactment of this law until the end of the rpi. this bill would seem to regret, as i understand it, prevent anyone from being detained or deported, or even apprehended, so long as they appear to be eligible for rpi status under the bill? >> absolutely. >>ityo understanding that once you factor in the automatic discretionary extension that the secretary is allowed to invoke, that they will take it up to 3.5 years?
>> i saw it as three years, but it could be 3.5 years. >> you have testified before this committee that the work of ice agen has beenpered over pursuant cases for those who merely claimed eligibility with nothing other than their own word at the moment. alien in custody says that they qualify, ice agents just can not process them. that shuts it down. bythis same approach is used an illegal alien who has entered after the enactment of this law, assuming it is enacted, with this three, three and a half year period, would it amount to an -- to a defacto enforcement holiday in which time they will not be
and my understanding that correctly? or am i missing something? it.ou nailed we feel that the people on the border iluded in that group as well. the legislation says that anyone in this gateog -- do we know what that opportunity consists of? >> i do not. >> can you tell me, based on your experience, you come with this unique background that allows you to forecast where the problems might be. what ways can you tell me